Eastbourne man convicted in Hove of cheating on council blue badge

A man who pleaded guilty to fraud after forging a doctor’s letter to get a blue disability card has been convicted.

Riccardo Gresta, of Elms Avenue in Eastbourne, submitted a letter from a neurologist claiming he could not walk more than 20 metres.

On closer inspection, grammatical errors in the letter suggested to East Sussex County Council that the claim was false. Although Gresta, 45, initially denied the allegations, he pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud.

The council launched an investigation after noticing apparent grammatical errors in the letter, which claimed Gresta could not walk more than 20 metres. Upon request, the hospital concerned confirmed that the letter did not come from them.

When questioned by East Sussex County Council investigators, Gresta initially denied producing the letter and even lodged a complaint with local government ombudsmen.

At the sentencing hearing at Hove Crown Court on Thursday December 22, Recorder Mercer told Gresta: ‘You looked at an actual letter from a neurologist, which was a letter from a Mr Anderson. They used this letter to cut and paste another letter said to be from an Angus Anderson.

“It wasn’t immediately apparent that the letter was fake, but the local authority are used to fraudulent claims and looked into it closely.”

A spokeswoman for the Council said: “This conviction is the result of the hard work and dedication of our Blue Badge team and should deter anyone who believes they can use false information or documents to obtain a Blue Badge.

“We have zero tolerance for fraudulent activity – if you really need a Blue Badge and meet the nationally established criteria, there is absolutely no reason to lie.”

Gresta was sentenced to a 12-month suspended sentence and a six-week curfew.

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23213516.eastbourne-man-sentenced-hove-council-blue-badge-fraud/?ref=rss Eastbourne man convicted in Hove of cheating on council blue badge

Fry Electronics Team

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