22 Aug 2013

Second mortgage will only repay some of big benefit fraud

A benefit cheat from Carpenders Park who falsely claimed more than £100,000 has had to take out a second mortgage to repay the Department of Work and Pensions.

Richard Bailey, 58, received a 32 week jail sentence suspended for 18 months with 18 months' supervision when he appeared at St Albans Crown Court last year.

A risible sentence.

He was also told to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and attend 25 days of Education and Training.

He had not told the DWP his circumstances had changed and for 13 years received benefits he was not entitled to.

When he started receiving benefits in 1991 he was a genuine claimant but in 1998 he failed to reveal that his wife Eleanor was receiving an occupational pension.

That income and other assets put the couple above the limit for the benefits.

Bailey pleaded guilty to five counts of making false representations to obtain benefits and one of deception and returned to court today for a confiscation hearing.

Defence barrister Saul Herman said that Bailey had made two lump sum re-payments, amounting to £30,000. It was agreed the total benefit figure he received was £123,638, leaving an outstanding amount of £91,330.

Mr Herman said: "He has taken out a second mortgage on the marital home for £69,000 and that can be paid immediately. He is also looking at selling a car and a caravan and is talking to his family about the rest of the money."

Judge Martin Griffith gave him 28 days to repay the £69,000 and six months to find the rest.

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