11 Mar 2016

£110k of benefit fraud on the side

An engineering boss on £50,000-a-year has been jailed after claiming he was jobless and pocketing £110,000 to go on a string of exotic golfing holidays.

Fraudster David Rothwell even posted photos of himself on Facebook posing in a bar and with a snake around his neck while on luxury trips during an 11-year-period of illegally claiming benefits.

Maidstone Crown Court heard that the 66-year-old started claiming Jobseeker's Allowance at the start of 2003 after losing his job at an engineering firm.

For the first year he claimed benefits legitimately but when he landed a top role at Imperial College London in January 2004 he did not inform the authorities.

The court heard how Rothwell, of Borough Green, Kent, even started claiming housing benefit and council tax benefit in January 2004 – the very time he had just landed the new job.

He continued working at the university for four years until he landed a new position as an engineering compliance manager for John Laing Integrated Services in August 2008.

Rothwell was earning between £40,000 and £50,000-a-year.

The court heard how he illegally claimed Jobseeker's Allowance from January 2004 until April 2009, when he eventually came clean about his job.

But he managed to keep claiming housing and council tax benefits until May 2015 – when his scam was rumbled.

Rothwell enjoyed a string of exotic holidays courtesy of the taxpayer as he claimed £109,153 in benefits he was not entitled to. The keen golfer bragged on his Facebook page how he holidayed in Gambia in 2011 and again twice in 2012, in April and October.

Rothwell pleaded guilty to seven counts of benefit fraud and was jailed for one year.

He was charged on two counts of falsely claiming Job Seeker's Allowance, four counts of falsely claiming housing and council tax and falsely claiming pension credit from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Source with picture

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