The Telegraph has today reported that Dan Penteado, a presenter on the BBC’s Rogue Traders programme, has pleaded guilty to more than £24,000 of housing-benefit and council-tax fraud.
Penteado admitted to eight charges of dishonestly or knowingly taking benefits while not declaring his income from the BBC.
Prosecutor Kerry O’Neill told the court the offences went back to 2007 when Mr Penteado made his first claim but didn’t inform Bournemouth Borough Council that he had another bank account.
From 2008 to 2011 he neglected to tell the council he had been paid more than £56,000 for his work on the television programme.
Miss O’Neill said: “He received £24,077.60 in housing and council-tax benefit he was not entitled to.
“He failed to notify the borough council of the money coming in.”
The court was told that the council are looking to recoup the money which was paid to Mr Penteado, who has been warned he could face time in prison and is awaiting sentencing.
According to The Telegraph, Dorset police applied for a warrant to arrest Penteado after he didn’t respond to letters of enquiry or a court summons sent by the council.
On June 14, Mr Penteado handed himself in to the police after they had been making enquiries as to his whereabouts.
Ironically, the premise of Rogue Traders is to catch and shame workmen who defraud customers throughout the UK.
In the most recent series, Mr Penteado assisted the programme in catching out eight business owners they believed were ripping off the public.
In his spare time, Penteado is reported to be a private investigator both in the UK and abroad.
With the government looking to cut back on benefits and get more people into work, expect more of these cases to be pursued in the coming months as there will no doubt be a crackdown on benefit cheats.