9 Jul 2013

Couple lived high on fraud

A Margate man has been imprisoned for benefit fraud following an investigation by Thanet District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.(h/t Dave)

Allan Jones (56) of Gresham Avenue, Margate, was investigated for Housing Benefit Fraud (£32,582), Council Tax Benefit Fraud (£6,778) and Income Support Fraud (£15,089).

Mr Jones was investigated by fraud investigation officers from Thanet District Council and the DWP about the benefit claims. Evidence was obtained at a search of the property that the couple were living above their means, and were going on between two - four cruises a year throughout the period of their benefit claims and had a fraudulent mortgage in relation to the Gresham Avenue property.

Mr Jones lodged an appeal against a decision to cancel the claims to benefit for the period of the suspected fraud, as he disagreed with the cancellation of the claims. At the Appeal Tribunal Mr Jones admitted that he was the beneficial owner of the property and therefore the overpayment decisions made were correct.

Judge Williams took into account Mr Jones’s previous good character when sentencing, however, the offence was too serious for anything other than immediate imprisonment. He was therefore sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for each charge to run concurrent and must serve a minimum of at least half the sentence. Full repayment of the debt must now be paid and the Council is exploring all avenues available to retrieve the money as soon as possible.

Such as selling the house?

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