29 Sep 2013

Two people with money who still claimed benefits

A woman who claimed benefits despite having more than £75,000 in the bank has been handed a 36-week suspended prison sentence. Balbir Kaur Mann, from Braunstone, received £26,852 she was not entitled to between April 2006 and August last year. Mann had falsely claimed income support and council tax benefit in 2006 by failing to declare more than £75,000 in savings. Magistrates said her offending had reached the custody threshold because it was deliberate, continued for several years and had reached a high value, but her sentence is suspended for two years.


A benefit cheat had more than £198,000 stashed away in 24 bank accounts when he fiddled his claims, a court heard. He pretended he did not realise that he had to declare savings or that they were means-tested, Grimsby Magistrates' Court was told. Cole Williams admitted two offences of failing to notify a change of circumstances affecting his entitlement to Income Support, housing benefit and council tax benefit, between April 2009 and June 2012.

Rebecca Dolby, prosecuting, said Williams claimed benefit on the grounds that he was not fit for work but it was discovered that some of his declarations were not true. He did not declare that he had capital over £16,000 and that he had 24 bank accounts containing a total of £198,649.

He was overpaid a total of £16,586 to which he was not entitled. The money had been repaid in full on December 29. Williams had no convictions since 2000, the court heard.

Rebecca Perrin, mitigating, said Williams claimed he did not know that the benefits were means-tested and that money in bank accounts needed to be revealed. He claimed that he realised this was the case only when he spotted a newspaper report of a similar case involving money in savings. "He realised he should not have been claiming but did nothing about it and continued to claim," said Miss Perrin. The large sum of money in bank accounts was from family to buy a house. "He did not want to whittle it away by paying for things currently covered by benefit," added Miss Perrin. "Two years ago, he bought a house with those funds. He has about £5,000 in savings at present."

Williams, a self-employed software developer, lived and worked in Austria most of the time.

District judge Daniel Curtis told Williams he simply did not believe that he thought that the benefits were not means-tested because there almost certainly must have been information about this on the claim forms. "It was dishonest from the very outset," said Mr Curtis.

Williams was fined £3,200 and must pay £85 costs and a £120 Government-imposed victim surcharge.

This is a piffling sentence. Benefit thieves do it for the money. They should have to pay back twice what they stole. They should not be eligible for any benefits until they have, and they should have to do some unpaid work every week until the debt to society is cleared.

Hit them in the pocket!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Manchester Council did a press release last month about a man with an overpayment of £45K of Housing Benefit. When he was arrested, police discovered £118K cash in his house.

I'm surprised it wasnt picked up by the papers.