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Probe continues into fraud claim centred on Exeter City Council's housing department

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: February 14, 2013

A POLICE investigation launched more than a year ago into allegations of fraud centred on Exeter City Council's housing department is continuing.

The Echo revealed in December 2011 that Tony Bodgin, who retired from the authority at the end of last year, was arrested by police investigating allegations of fraud.

Mr Bodgin was special projects manager and tenant liaison manager for Exeter and was a long-serving council officer involved in implementing a range of key projects for the authority.

Mr Bodgin, who is in his 60s, was released on bail while enquiries about an alleged fraud continued.

Mr Bodgin answered bail on Monday, February 11, and a police spokesman has confirmed his bail has been extended until June while the investigation continues.

It is understood that a number of other people are also being investigated.

The police previously refused to confirm details.

In a statement issued at the time, the city council said it was not able to release details of the alleged fraud.

But it said information came to light after an internal investigations.

The statement said: "An alleged fraud has been committed against the council by a number of individuals.

"An internal review and one by the council's external auditors has been undertaken – but as this matter is the subject of a current police investigation, no further comment will be made at the present time."

A year on, a city council spokesman said the authority was unable to give an update.

Last year the Echo reported that Mr Bodgin, as part of his work, was concerned with arranging surveys of council-owned homes prior to loft and cavity wall insulation being fitted as part of the authority's drive to reduce energy use.

It is understood the suspected fraud involved alleged discrepancies in the number of homes claimed for when a survey of all council housing stock was carried out as part of the scheme to cut energy costs.

Mr Bodgin helped to set up the Exeter Tenant and Leaseholder Committee in 2006.

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