Landlords 'commit big DSS fraud'

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The Independent Online
Government studies showing that up to pounds 1.1bn a year is being lost in housing benefit fraud are likely to be a significant under-estimate, a leading director of housing told MPs yesterday, writes Nicholas Timmins.

The Department of Social Security tends to believe that most fraud is carried out by individual claimants failing to declare earnings, Bernard Crofton, Director of Housing at Hackney told the Commons Social Security Committee.

But "the very large benefit frauds are perpetrated by landlords and sophisticated criminals", he said. Landlords and organised criminals would often claim for 10 or more bogus residents, he said, generating huge sums compared to the smaller sums an individual claimant could get away with.