Driver admits pothole fraud attempt against Herts County Council
A motorist has been ordered to pay almost £4,000 in fines and costs after being convicted of making a false insurance claim against Herts County Council.
Robbie Beaton, 45, alleged his Audi TT suffered £4,214.24 damage when it hit a pothole in St Albans.
The county council’s insurance team became suspicious of his claim and the case was referred to the Shared Anti-Fraud Service.
An investigation revealed Beaton had taken his car to a garage in Hatfield to be repaired and used documents provided by the garage to create a false invoice stating that the cost of the repairs was more than the true amount.
When he was interviewed, Beaton admitted he had falsified documents and his claim was withdrawn.
Beaton, of Walmer, Kent, who was of previous good character and had no other convictions, pleaded guilty when he appeared at St Albans Magistrates' Court on November 27. He apologised for his actions. He was fined £1,600 and was ordered to pay £2,000 costs and a £160 victim surcharge.
Cllr Ralph Sangster, Herts County Council's cabinet member for resources, said: “This isn’t a victimless crime; fraudulent activity costs Hertfordshire councils an enormous amount and adds to the already severe pressures on local services.
"We will actively pursue those unscrupulous people who think that they can defraud the county council and steal taxpayers’ hard-earned money.”