26 Feb 2013

£12k benefit thief - "I'm no scrounger"

A school caretaker who cheated the taxpayer out of thousands of pounds after he carried on claiming benefits despite winning £90,000 on the Lottery has escaped jail.

Shameless Geoffrey McLuckie, 52, failed to tell the authorities about his windfall after he scooped the Lotto prize in 2001.

But instead the fraudster carried on claiming over £12,000 in Jobseekers Allowance in a scam lasting four years.

An investigation by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) discovered he had failed to declare the win but he argued he should not have to - because the money was for his 'future financial security.'

McLuckie pleaded guilty to making a statement to obtain a benefit at Walsall Magistrates Court. Prosecutor Nick Baker said:
He claimed Jobseeker's Allowance from 2008 and said he was unemployed and had capital under the prescribed limit.

But evidence was gathered by investigators that he had capital and had failed to declare it.

He said he understood the rules and that he had over £16,000. He stated he had not considered that to be savings.
McLuckie, who lives with his mother in Beechdale, West Midlands, was given a 12-month community order and asked to complete 150 hours of unpaid work. He must also pay costs of £100.

Speaking after the case McLuckie - who now works 10 hours a week as a caretaker - said:
I was jobless so I was claiming Job Seekers [allowance] - I don't know what all the fuss is about.

We matched five numbers and the bonus ball but it wasn't really an earth-shattering amount and I put it away for my pension.

I admit what I've done and I hold my hands up. But I'm gutted.

I'm not a scrounger I've worked hard for 27 years - I feel pretty hard done by if I'm honest.
McLuckie to win the lottery, McLuckless to get caught. He should be made to repay double.

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