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'Truly shocking' amount of money fraudulently claimed by ex-BBC presenter

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.

– Councillor David Smith, Bournemouth Borough Council

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Rogue Traders presenter told his crime was 'planned and calculated'

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.

– John Corben, Chairman of the bench, Bournemouth Magistrates' Court

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Glaxo has 'learned from the mistakes that were made'

Sir Andrew Witty, Glaxo's chief executive, expressed regret yesterday and said the company had learned "from the mistakes that were made".

Today brings to resolution difficult, long-standing matters for GSK. Whilst these originate in a different era for the company, they cannot and will not be ignored.

On behalf of GSK, I want to express our regret and reiterate that we have learnt from the mistakes that were made.

We are deeply committed to doing everything we can to live up to and exceed the expectations of those we work with and serve.

Huge fraud payout for Glaxo

Glaxo promoted the popular anti-depressants Paxil and Wellbutrin for unapproved uses.

Prosecutors said that between 1998 and 2003 Glaxo illegally promoted Paxil for treating depression in children, even though it was not approved for under 18s.

The company also promoted Wellbutrin from 1999 to 2003 for weight loss, sexual dysfunction, substance addictions and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, although it was approved only for treatment of major depression.

And Glaxo will admit failing to report to the government for seven years on safety problems with the diabetes drug Avandia, which was restricted in the US and banned in Europe after it was found in 2007 to sharply increase the risks of heart attacks and congestive heart failure.

The UK's fraud by numbers

An investigation by the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) which continually compared data held by 1,300 public and private-sector organisations from across the UK found the biggest three problem areas for fraud were:

  • Pensions (£98 million)
  • Council tax discount for single occupiers (£50 million)
  • Housing benefit (£31 million)

It also rooted out 164 illegal foreign workers and 321 fake council house applications and led to the cancellation of tens of thousands of wrongly-held disabled parking badges and travel passes.

O'Higgins calls for Whitehall to join fight against fraud

Audit Commission chairman Michael O'Higgins called on the head of the civil service to force Whitehall departments to participate in a major anti-fraud initiative.

His appeal - in a letter to Sir Bob Kerslake expressing serious frustration,claiming there was "no defensible case" for their absence, came as the body released the latest results of the National Fraud Initiative (NFI).

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