Belfast Telegraph

Fraudster sub-let his Housing Executiv house in rent scam

By Alan Erwin

A man was given a three-month suspended jail term yesterday for sub-letting his Housing Executive property as part of a benefits scam.

In what is believed to be the first criminal prosecution for tenancy fraud in Northern Ireland, Gary Campion was convicted of failing to declare a change in his circumstances to the Social Security Agency.

The 32-year-old rented out his south Belfast house for £350 a month after advertising it on Gumtree.

With another £250 a month already being claimed in housing benefit, the 32-year-old then moved into more expensive accommodation in the city.

Belfast Magistrates Court heard how a woman who responded to the advert paid more than £2,000 in rent and a deposit between June and December last year.

Campion, now with an address at Mount Merrion Drive in Belfast, even provided her with a rent book.

Campion denied any dishonesty, claiming he was told by the authority that he could sub-let in special circumstances.

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