The former co-presenter of the BBC's consumer show Rogue Traders has been sent to jail for 12 weeks.
Bournemouth Magistrates' Court heard how Dan Penteado committed £24,000 worth of council tax and housing benefit fraud between 2008 to 2012.
The 40-year-old is known to viewers for chasing down bogus workmen with Matt Allwright on the back of a motorbike.
– JOHN CORBEN, CHAIRMAN OF THE BENCH, BOURNEMOUTH MAGISTRATES' COURT
This is not a victimless crime, it is actually a crime of stealing from the public purse. It was planned over four years and it was calculated and we consider it so serious that only a custodial sentence is appropriate - you knew exactly what you were doing. You will be sentenced to 12 weeks in prison and it will not be suspended.
He had previously admitted eight offences of dishonestly or knowingly claiming the benefits while not declaring he earned more than £56,000 from the BBC.
His legal team said he committed the fraud because he was on a short-term contract and made the "very poor judgment not to interrupt the flow of housing benefit".
– COUNCILLOR DAVID SMITH, BOURNEMOUTH BOROUGH COUNCIL
The amount of money stolen in this case is truly shocking. We are pleased that Mr Penteado has now been successfully prosecuted and brought to justice. The council will not tolerate benefit fraud and will always take action to ensure public funds are protected from abuse and available to support the most vulnerable in society. Anyone committing benefit fraud should expect to be investigated and action to be taken. We would urge anyone who knows, or who is suspicious that a person is committing benefit fraud, to report it immediately.
- Penteado was caught when a council housing benefit officer recognised him on Rogue Traders and matched the name to his fraudulent application
- Penteado's trial heard how he was facing huge debts and owed £20,000
- His solicitor argued he had "lost his burgeoning career in broadcasting and that itself is quite a punishment for him"
Penteado, who also works as a private investigator, started working with Matt Allwright in 2001 and has worked on Rogue Traders and Watchdog.
He appeared dazed when he was sentenced.
– BBC STATEMENT
In light of the prosecution, Dan Penteado will not be returning to Rogue Traders.