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26 Jan 2018

Benefit fraud father hid £30k savings

A father conned the taxpayer out of thousands of pounds by dishonestly claiming benefits in a bid to avoid spending his £30,000 “nest egg”.

Abdul Mubarak, 57, from Cardiff, falsely claimed more than £15,000 in Employment and Support Allowance which he was not entitled to as his savings were double the amount allowed.

Sentencing at Cardiff Crown Court, Judge Thomas Crowther QC said benefit fraud was “corrosive” to public trust in the benefit system.

The court heard the offending occurred between February 2012 and April 2016.

Prosecutors said the defendant would have been allowed savings of £16,000 and still been eligible for the benefit. But he failed to tell the DWP that he had savings ranging from £24,000 to £37,000 across the four years.

The court heard his claim was fraudulent from the outset and the overpayments totalled £15,440.60.

Mubarak told a probation officer he owed money to a man in Libya and did not declare it because he did not view it as his own money. He said it was “a question of honour” but accepted that the bank account was in his name.

He admitted fraud. Derrick Gooden, defending, told the court his client had no previous convictions. He said he was no longer claiming Employment and Support Allowance but his family depend on Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit. Mubarak was judged by the Probation Service to present a low risk of re-offending.

Judge Crowther said: “This claim was fraudulent from the very beginning. You cannot have believed you were entitled and you were not. You made a simple decision to live off public money rather than live off your nest egg.

The judge found Mubarak’s explanation was not consistent with the money having been in his account for five years. He added: “Benefit fraud is serious because it depletes the public purse. It diverts the money from the needy and entitled to those who are less needy and not entitled.”

Mubarak was jailed for 30 weeks and there will be a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act on May 30.

Donna James, district fraud manager for the Department for Work and Pensions, said: “When people commit benefit theft they do not get away with it."

That's a lie.

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