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6 Jun 2019

Benefit fraud takes years to reach court

This is an example of how the benefits fraud enforcement system is overwhelmed - so overwhelmed that it is really just there for show. 

This offender's over-claiming was reported back in 2016. He was interviewed in 2017. But his case doesn't reach court until 2019. 

How many millions does this flabby, under-resourced benefit fraud enforcement cost us each year?

And notice that his offending wasn't detected by officials. The fraud was only revealed  by a tip off.

A benefit cheat who found work after suffering a 'very unpleasant' work accident at Wythenshawe Hospital has been spared jail.

Arthur Postill, 65, claimed £36,099 in several benefits which he was not entitled to, Manchester Crown Court heard.

He was caught out after undercover officers launched a surveillance operation.

The claims were legitimate at the start, but Postill, from Altrincham, failed to inform the authorities that he had started casual work with a cleaning company.

The court was told that in 2002 Postill suffered 'significant' injuries in an accident at work at the south Manchester hospital, affecting his ability to work.

He would have been entitled to some smaller amount of benefits if he had declared the work, the court was told.

From November 2010 to March 2016, when he was detected, Postill claimed more than £17,000 in disability living allowance, more than £6,000 in incapacity benefit, more than £5,000 in employment support allowance, £180 in job seeker's allowance and more than £6,000 in housing benefit.

The total of fraudulent claims was £36,099, prosecutor Bob Golinski said. He told how an investigation was launched after the benefit fraud hotline was tipped off about Postill.

Officers found that he was working in some capacity for a contract cleaning company, work which affected his entitlement to benefits. He worked driving cleaners around, transporting items and also working as a cleaner himself, the court was told.

When he was interviewed in February 2017, Postill was shown images of him working and accepted the man in the pictures was him.

Postill has previous convictions, but the last recorded offences were more than 20 years ago for driving matters.

Defending, Rachel White said Postill was taking part in casual work for the company through family connections, as the firm was run by his sister in law.

She pointed out that Postill has been 'out of trouble for many many years', and asked that the defendant be allowed to walk free from court.

Judge Martin Rudland agreed, handing down a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Postill must also complete 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

The judge told him: "I am prepared to accept you are a man who has hitherto led a stable and decent life, apart from those blemishes a a younger man. I don't doubt, Mr Postill, that the courts will never see you again."

Postill previously pleaded guilty to six counts of benefit fraud.

Source with picture

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