A FRAUDSTER who secured £291,000 through crime has been ordered to repay almost £50,000 to a council.

A judge at Teesside Crown Court ruled Andrew Cason, of Brompton, near Northallerton, had £88,733 in realisable assets, and had to repay Hambleton District Council £49,905 and that the remainder should be divided between the council, the Home Office and the Courts Service.

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act, an application can be made to the courts to recover further assets from Cason up to the value of his full benefit figure of £291,087 should any assets be identified for him in the future.

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The 40-year-old had pleaded guilty to obtaining almost £50,000 in benefits he was not entitled to and was jailed for 18 months.

Cason must pay the confiscation order amount before the end of September or face an additional two-year prison sentence.

The council's leader, Councillor Mark Robson, said: "It endorses our stance that we will not tolerate people who take money away from people who really need it."