A benefit cheat has been ordered to pay back £130,000 for a 12-year con.
Alan Littleboy was convicted of taking £101,000 from the Department for Work and Pensions despite owning two homes. He inherited his father’s home in Selsey in 2000 but failed to notify the department – and continued to claim benefits. Now a judge has told him to pay back the cash plus extra.
James Dennison, prosecuting, said the benefit figure amounted to much more than the £101,000. But Bridget O’Hagan, defending, said Littleboy understood he would only have to pay back what was fraudulently taken.
At Portsmouth Crown Court, Judge Linda Sullivan QC ordered the 58-year-old to pay back £130,000 within 14 days.
Littleboy, previously of Longfield Avenue, Fareham, pleaded guilty to three charges of dishonestly making false statements to obtain benefit at an earlier hearing.
Speaking on Friday, Ms O’Hagan said: ‘He was going to sell the property he was living in and renovate the uninhabitable one. We’ve already paid back the council tax benefit. The property he was intending to sell completed yesterday.’
Littleboy claimed income support in 1998 and it later transferred to Employment Support Allowance. He also claimed council tax benefit.
In January the court heard Littleboy claimed £66,655 of income support for 500 weeks, £21,607 of ESA for 147 weeks and £12,827 of council tax benefit between 2002 and 2014.
The house had been under a different surname to his own, but that had been a mistake made by lawyers handling the inheritance, his defence said.
Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, previously described the fraud as ‘eye-watering’ and said he was pleased to see justice being done.
Littleboy saw the home he inherited from his father as an ‘emotional shrine’ as opposed to a capital asset, the court was previously told. Ms O’Hagan told the court: ‘It’s clear to me that he doesn’t view the bungalow as a capital asset. It was uninhabitable when he inherited it and was for some time. To him it’s something like an emotional shrine.’
He was sentenced to a 20-month prison sentence suspended for two years with a three-month 6pm-6am curfew with electronic tag. The court heard he had ‘limited understanding’ of the consequences of his actions.
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