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11 Aug 2015

Benefits thief used dead brother's identity to claim £200k

A 79-year-old fraudster who used his dead brother and school friend's identities to claim more than £200,000 in benefits has been sentenced to 28 months in prison. (h/t Dave)

Carl Jones, from Wavertree, pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to making dishonest representations, theft and fraud to claim housing benefit, council tax and pension credit.

Recorder Simon Medlands QC said Jones was a "determined and sophisticated" criminal after he embezzled £201,771.54 over a 13-year period.

Mr Medlands said: "You are a dyed-in-the-wool fraudster and as greedy as you are dishonest."

Retired Jones, who has a criminal record dating back to 1952 with convictions for dishonesty and drug trafficking, was criticised by the judge as only "having himself to blame".

He used the identities of his brother Roy and school friend Brian Abram as well as a man called Charles Jones.

The court was told that the deception was fraudulent from the outset and dated back to 2002.

A passport in his brother's name was issued in July 2006 with a declaration that he had been living in Santander, Spain, for the previous 22 years to explain why there was no record of him in the UK.

Officers for the Department for Work and Pensions and Liverpool City Council became concerned that claims for pension credit, council tax and housing benefit were being made. Inquiries revealed Roy Jones died in 1967.

The two authorities paid a total of £74,120 to him over a six-year period.

Jones was arrested at his home in Wavertree, Liverpool, in February.

Recorder Simon Medlands said:
It's a tragedy to see a man of your age in the dock but in reality you only have yourself to blame. For 13 years or more you had been undertaking a highly sophisticated and persistent fraud. During that period you effectively stole from the public purse more than £200,000.
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