Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Moggerhanger man found guilty of Council Tax fraud

Monday, 14 February 2022

A Moggerhanger man who falsely claimed the property he lived in was rented, to avoid paying Council Tax, has been sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment.

Christian Fitzgerald, 58, of Park Road, Moggerhanger was sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Friday 11 February, suspended for 2 years. He was also ordered to attend 20 rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) days.

Our investigation revealed a sustained and lengthy fraud starting in 2011 and lasting until 2020. Fitzgerald submitted false documentation to avoid paying £16,092 in Council Tax by claiming that the property he lived in was rented out to several fictitious tenants.

Despite being summonsed to appear at an earlier court hearing, he failed to appear. This led to him being arrested at Luton Magistrates’ Court, where he later pleaded guilty to the charge. He was bailed under the condition he remained at his property until sentencing on Friday.

In addition to the suspended sentence and RAR days, he is required to repay the £16,092 Council Tax he falsely evaded.

Our Executive Member for Corporate Resources, Councillor David Shelvey, said:

Cases like this show that we can catch these fraudsters and we will pursue them. People who try to fraudulently abuse the system for their own financial gain are putting their own greed ahead of the needs of vulnerable people.