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1 Nov 2017

Another asset benefit fraud

A benefit cheat who falsely claimed disability living allowance has been ordered to pay back £44,000 or face jail.

Andrew Robert Howarth, from Rawtenstall, pleaded guilty at Burnley Crown Court to benefit fraud and was given a 12-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

At a proceeds of crime hearing this week, prosecutor Anthony Stephenson told the court that the 50-year-old wrongly claimed £44,893.25.

The court heard how the defendant had £144,710.92 in ‘available assets’ including two houses, a small ISA and a savings account.

Mr Stephenson said Howarth has ‘already started to make some payments back’.

Howarth was ordered to pay the remaining sum of £43,473.95 in the next three months or face nine months in jail in default.

Judge Ian Leeming QC told Howarth: “If you find it impossible to pay then you can come back to court and apply for an extension, but that would depend on its merits.”

Source

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