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7 Jun 2013

Light sentence for blatant benefit theft

A man has admitted cheating Basildon Council out of more than £7,000.

Kirk Gibson admitted five charges of fraudulently claiming council tax benefit and jobseekers allowance.

Gibson was fined £120 for each offence and ordered to pay £1,788 costs and a victim surcharge of £15. He had also repaid all the money he wrongly claimed.

Gibson claimed a total of £7,535. He cheated the council out of £2,744 between April 20, 2009 to August 26, 2012 and also claimed £4,789 of jobseekers allowance to which he was not entitled, between October 2009 and March 2012.

He was prosecuted after the authorities discovered Gibson had failed to declare as much as £95,000 he had stashed in the bank.

Where is the punishment here? He stole over £7,500 and has had to pay an extra £2,043 - a minor inconvenience when you have £95,000 in the bank. No unpaid work.

Benefit thieves should have to repay twice what they've stolen.

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