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23 Nov 2013

Why most benefit thieves will get away with it

At the age of 71 Chris Mullen, from Salford, has been jailed for eleven months for getting £105,000 of benefits in an assets fraud - he said he was virtually penniless.
But a joint investigation by the DWP, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) revealed he had thousands of pounds in savings and wouldn't have been eligible for the benefits he was claiming.
To snare one pensioner took no fewer than three enforcement agencies. The DWP seemingly weren't capable of doing the checks themselves; the police were involved; and the transfers between accounts were detected by SOCA. (h/t Dave)

With this lumbering approach it's not surprising there will never be enough officials to check on the large numbers of people on benefits.

But the plodding isn't over yet.
Authorities say they have begun work to get the money he illegally claimed back.
More lumbering process.

Imagine how many hours of work this one case has taken up - and still is! As the Judge pointed out:
These offences are easy to commit and difficult and time-consuming to detect.
The system will never be able to cope.

Most benefit thieves will continue to get away with it.

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