East Devon District Council

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Policy Council Tax and Benefits Penalty and Prosecution policy

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4. Outcomes

1 - Each case will be considered individually, including looking carefully at a customer’s circumstances before coming to a decision about the most appropriate action in each case.

2 - We have an active role of referring all suitable cases for financial investigation to a Financial Investigator with a view to applying to the courts for restraint and/or confiscation of identified assets. The legislation governing this is the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA).

3 - The underpinning principle of POCA is to demonstrate that crime does not pay, and whereas in the past prosecution alone may have been an insufficient deterrent POCA seeks redress by confiscating not only what the criminal has received as a direct result of the crime but also what can be demonstrated to have been obtained as benefit from the proceeds of the crime.

4 - Whether or not we decide to take action against the benefit customer or council taxpayer we will take steps to recover the fraudulent overpayment, including taking action in the civil courts, if necessary.