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28 Apr 2018

Man admits ancient benefit fraud

A Suffolk benefit cheat who was overpaid £28,000 after failing to mention he jointly owned a property with his partner has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Stephen Thorne told investigators that he knew he was doing something wrong by not disclosing his interest in the property in Horsey, Norfolk, and said it had been worrying him for some time, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Thorne, 57, from Preston St Mary, Sudbury, admitted fraud by false representation, dishonestly failing to disclose information and obtaining a money transfer by deception.

He was given a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years and a 30 day rehabilitation activity order. He was also ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work.

The court heard the offences were committed between February 2003 and May 2012 and related to income support and Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Thorne, who was not legally represented, said he was ashamed of what he’d done and was planning to sell property to repay the money.

A proceeds of crime hearing will take place later in the year.

Source

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