22 Jan 2018

Confiscation order for benefit fraudster

A fraudster who used state benefits to help finance his property deals has been ordered to pay back £24,190.20.

Colin Blake, 67, claimed £26,500 in pension credits over some years, despite having a £38,000 pension pot and £106,000 from the sale of his home, York Crown Court heard last August.

Andrew Semple, prosecuting, said Blake used his money to buy a property in East Yorkshire and one in France. Pension credits can only be claimed by people with less than £16,000 in savings.

Blake, who the court heard was living in a van in a field at Low Catton, near Stamford Bridge, was given a ten-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months with a four-month curfew in August. He admitted benefit fraud.

When the case returned to court for a confiscation hearing, Tony Kelbrick, prosecuting, said financial experts had calculated that Blake had benefited by £24,190.20 from his crime, after the repayments he has already made were taken into account.

His assets including a house he is selling were more than that.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC ordered him to pay a £24,190.20 confiscation order within three months, or face 12 months in jail.


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