A television presenter whose job was to prevent people being ripped off has been sentenced to 12 weeks in prison for benefit fraud.
Dan Penteado, who worked on the BBC’s Rogue Traders and Watchdog programmes, admitted eight offences of dishonestly or knowingly claiming council tax and housing benefits worth more than £24,000.
Bournemouth magistrates heard how he had neglected to mention earning more than £56,000 for his television work over three years.
The 40-year-old failed to tell officials about one of his bank accounts when he first filled in a claim form in 2007 and repeated the fraud over four subsequent years.
The court heard that Penteado, who has worked alongside television presenter Matt Allwright since 2001, “received £24,077.60 in housing and council tax benefit he wasn’t entitled to”.
Penteado’s solicitor, Terrence Scanlan, told the court that his client had never had permanent work at the BBC, only a series of short term contacts.
Deeply in debt and with a young family to support, Penteado decided not to interrupt the flow of housing benefit, a decision “he recognises now as a very, very poor judgement on his part”.