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18 Jul 2014

24 people charged with £400,000 DWP benefit fraud

Andrew Penhale, Deputy Head of the CPS Specialist Fraud Division said:
Following an investigation by the Central Criminal Investigation Service, part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the CPS has authorised charges against 18 men and six women, all of whom live or work in London, in connection with alleged benefit fraud.

On dates between July 2011 and September 2013, it is alleged that these individuals took part in a large-scale, organised attack on the DWP benefits claims and payments system, dishonestly obtaining £446,844.85 between them.

In order to carry out this fraud, it is alleged that the defendants hijacked the identities of innocent members of the public without their knowledge or consent. The evidence suggests that some of the defendants had access to third party personal data before providing details to other defendants in order for them to make fraudulent claims for DWP benefits, namely Jobseekers Allowance and Employment Support Allowance.

The 24 individuals are charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation. In accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, we have determined that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and a prosecution of all the defendants is in the public interest.

The defendants are due to appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, 23 July 2014. They have a right to a fair trial and it is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.
From the CPS website

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