A HIGH ranking member of Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, who held a number of other senior public sector positions, has been convicted of benefit fraud.
Derek Carpenter, 61, of Ashley Court, Royston, who was also vice president of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, appeared at Sheffield Crown Court.
The court heard Carpenter falsely claimed over £12,500 of housing benefit, council tax benefit and jobseekers’ allowance while at the same time stating he was unemployed and had no income.
In fact, investigations discovered he was advertising on the internet as a sales and marketing director, a business coach and a personal development mentor.
The fraud came to light when he applied for benefit, claiming he had no income whatsoever - yet was managing to pay his rent of over £600 a month.
Fraud officers from Barnsley Council’s benefit investigation team accessed his bank accounts which revealed numerous credits for work undertaken which was not declared.
Carpenter, a governor for the Hospital Trust, also served on the Barnsley College board of governors.
From August 2009 to October 2010 he received £5,587 in housing benefit, £2,043 of council tax benefit and £4,881 in jobseekers’ allowance to which he was not entitled. During the same period he earned over £27,000 which he failed to declare.
Carpenter was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months, and must carry out 150 hours of unpaid work in the community.
The benefit he obtained is now being repaid.
But because Carpenter is claiming benefits again, it may take up to 13 years for him to pay back the money at the current repayment arrangement.