Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
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    Default Benefit fraud PROSECUTION. IUC?? Please HELP and reply :-(

    Hi,

    I want to DELETE my other post but do not know how to do it so sorry for posting this again but I wanted to change title and make clearer.

    I am being investigated for benefit fraud. At this point, i am not sure what claims/ addresses they suspect or if they suspect all but I stupidly attended an interview under caution because the only offence I had knowingly committed was not changing my claim in time, that lead to 3 weeks overpaymenticon, I admitted it and then got invited to interview. When I got to the interview I was interviewed for 2 and a half hours about ALL claims, the past 4 years of my life from age 16 to 19 and now, although I have not claimed for 6 months,now 20 years old.

    Address 1: 16 years old. They say I could only have claimed if I was a care leaver, I was not, never claimed I was. Claim was initatlly refused due to age, boss who was also the landlord said he would look into it, then two weeks later got a letter saying it had been awarded based on new information. I asked my boss what information he provided, I had NOTHING to do with it and NO knowledge he was submitting info. He claimed he just wrote to them saying we was in areas etc. It comes to light now that he must have said I had come from care, as this would have been the only reason they would have awarded it.

    Address 2: Lost job with first landlord, who was my boss. Guy who worked with this boss said to contact his Mother and ask to rent a room at her house as she used to rent to students. I had become depressed and quite mentally ill, self harming etc and I explained to the landlady I needed to claim HB. She said it was fine. During my time here, aged 16 and 10 months of age until 17 and 9 months of age, there was a fire that meant it was not safe for my landlords to live in and insurance put them in a hotel but would not house me. I stayed at the house during this time, investigator has flagged this up saying I couldn't have lived there. The difference is, is that the house was uninhabitable while work was going on for two people aged 73 and 74, one who had breathing problems from Asbestos. The kitchen was destroyed but I could still use a bedroom and bathroom, I pretty much didn't eat and when I did it was chips or toast etc. I stayed with friends when plumbing was done upstairs etc. I did not inform them of the fre, to be honest it NEVER crossed my mind.

    Address 3: Moved to a room, found add on gumtree. Turns out landlord was a sub-letter and not landlord, who had a criminal record for fraud (investigator told me about fraud, I found out about him not being landlord) One Day fake landlord tells us to get out, we say no we have a tenancy, he explains it doesn't mean anything, hes not the landlord etc. I left the next Day but carried on claiming for 3 weeks until the landlord got post for me and phoned benefits department, I admitted this before and during interview and offered to pay back etc.

    The son of Address 2, I started a relationship with during my time at address 3. He lived abroad during the time I rented a room at his parents and he would visit and stay in his own room. We become best friends and got very close but couldn't have a relationship and I was mentally unwell. Then we began a relationship some time after I moved out and he moved back to the UK.

    BEING ACCUSED OF (Contradicting by the way)

    Address 1: Not sure but they are suspicious of the fact I was not a care leaver. With all the new info I suspect my landlord lied to get them to change the claim decision from rejected to awarded by telling them I had come from care.

    Address 2: Sharing a room with the son, being in a relationship and therefore not being entitled to claim when I lived there as it is his family. NOT TRUE.

    Not living at the property during the fire, I suppose partly true and I shouldn't have stayed there due to the state of the house but I did.

    Address 2 and 3: Of knowing my landlord at address 3, whilst living at address 2 who aided me in committing fraud on a larger scale (her own words I have no idea what evidence is on this).

    Address 3: Continuing to claim fraudulently with the help of landlord at address 3. I suspect this is due to his history of fraud and they have put 2 and 2 together and made 11!

    Contradicting accusations:

    Address 2: Was in a relationship with son of landlord but he wasn't living there but because he was my boyfriend he paid the rent to his parents for me OR convinced his parents not to charge me.

    Address 3: Having my partner (who at this point WAS my partner) paying my rent for me and me pocketing the benefit. Despite me telling them he was on a 600 a month wage.

    I really would appreciate your advice in terms of;

    IF I am guilty of some fraud, will me age of 16 and 17 make it harder to prosecute

    Are other advice on the issues above. Cannot sleep or eat properly, having panic attacks and so on.

    THANK YOU.


  2. #2
    Site Team honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13's Avatar

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    Default Re: Benefit fraud PROSECUTION. IUC?? Please HELP and reply :-(

    Hello there.

    Do you mean your first thread or the second one that you want to delete please?

    I'm sure people will reply to you, but not everyone here knows about benefit fraud prosecutions, including myself. Please bear with us.

    Have you spoken to the CAB?

    My best, HB

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Benefit fraud PROSECUTION. IUC?? Please HELP and reply :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by honeybee13 View Post
    Hello there.

    Do you mean your first thread or the second one that you want to delete please?

    I'm sure people will reply to you, but not everyone here knows about benefit fraud prosecutions, including myself. Please bear with us.

    Have you spoken to the CAB?

    My best, HB
    Hi,

    I would like to delete both others really as I made mistakes. Sorry, new here.

    I called turn2us and they put me in touch with a solicitor. The solicitor referred me to another solicitor within the same firm but different department. I was promised a call within 48 hours, which would have been not last Friday but the Friday before. I have chased them up twice and she has re-sent the referral for the attention of two different solicitors (she done this Friday) so I am still waiting for a response. It is really effecting me not even being able to speak with a solicitor.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Benefit fraud PROSECUTION. IUC?? Please HELP and reply :-(

    OK, I understand. I'll put your other posts into a thread together and then close it. Please stick to this thread now.

    HB

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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Benefit fraud PROSECUTION. IUC?? Please HELP and reply :-(

    Yes the council could look to take this forward legally, as 16/17 years old makes no difference. It would be up to the CPS as to whether they would prosecute based on the evidence supplied.

    I would suggest that you see a local solicitor, if you are being threatened with prosecution to see if you can avoid this.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Benefit fraud PROSECUTION. IUC?? Please HELP and reply :-(

    Hi, thanks,

    Well they have not told me they will seek prosecution but the investigator disclosed this to my ex-landlord, she told him she will be seeking prosecution, I do not even fully understand what I am accused of yet! I am not sure she knows either. All I have been told is that I will be called for another interview at some point as she is currently digging into my 4 years of bank accounts, all addresses, my police records about the fire (I had to be arrested for it because at the time the owners were abroad and the police could not contact them to confirm who I was and that I had a right to be there etc). Problem with that, is that the owners did not know I was staying there while they were gone. There idiot of a son was not happy about a lodger staying there without them, even though it was my home and he kicked up a big fuss, so I offered to stay with a friend for the week they was gone. The friend let me down so after two nights I went back and stayed at the house. I was worried that I would be held responsible, so I did not tell the police I was living there, I told them I was living at my Mums address and this is were I was bailed to. My bail conditions also stated I was not allowed on the road of the property. Once the family cleared my name, I was still on bail and only got cleared once forensics came back that proved I had nothing to do with it. So, basically by looking at police records, it can prove I was living somewhere else, although I wasn't, I just didn't want the police to tell the owners I had been staying there. My solicitor at the time I was arrested said that if I explained I lived there but not for that week because the son did not trust me alone in the house, it would raise suspicions and so it was best that I just gave my Mums address for the purpose of the police interview, so I did.

    I am still waiting to hear back from my solicitor, they referred me to someone else and now I have been waiting two weeks for a response.

    If it goes to crown court, I would be shocked if a jury prosecuted someone for something they unknowingly did wrong when they was 16 and 17 years old with no family support and mental health problems, I am more concerned about a magistrate to be honest! If I get a criminal record I will not be able to continue running my business or go to university next year as I had planned and this really upsets me. I find it really scary that you can be prosecuted for such mistakes. I really feel like at 16 I should have been given more advice and support about clamming benefits, considering the punishments are so severe, if you do make a mistake. 16 and 17 year olds are generally not wise enough to understand the responsibities of claiming and I did not understand why I could and couldn't do.

    Anyone else in a similar position or have been?


  7. #7
    Basic Account Holder dd101 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Benefit fraud PROSECUTION. IUC?? Please HELP and reply :-(

    Hi,

    Thanks very much!


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Benefit fraud PROSECUTION. IUC?? Please HELP and reply :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by honeybee13 View Post
    OK, I understand. I'll put your other posts into a thread together and then close it. Please stick to this thread now.

    HB
    Hi,

    Thanks very much!


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Benefit fraud PROSECUTION. IUC?? Please HELP and reply :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by dd101 View Post
    Hi, thanks,

    Well they have not told me they will seek prosecution but the investigator disclosed this to my ex-landlord, she told him she will be seeking prosecution, I do not even fully understand what I am accused of yet! I am not sure she knows either. All I have been told is that I will be called for another interview at some point as she is currently digging into my 4 years of bank accounts, all addresses, my police records about the fire (I had to be arrested for it because at the time the owners were abroad and the police could not contact them to confirm who I was and that I had a right to be there etc). Problem with that, is that the owners did not know I was staying there while they were gone. There idiot of a son was not happy about a lodger staying there without them, even though it was my home and he kicked up a big fuss, so I offered to stay with a friend for the week they was gone. The friend let me down so after two nights I went back and stayed at the house. I was worried that I would be held responsible, so I did not tell the police I was living there, I told them I was living at my Mums address and this is were I was bailed to. My bail conditions also stated I was not allowed on the road of the property. Once the family cleared my name, I was still on bail and only got cleared once forensics came back that proved I had nothing to do with it. So, basically by looking at police records, it can prove I was living somewhere else, although I wasn't, I just didn't want the police to tell the owners I had been staying there. My solicitor at the time I was arrested said that if I explained I lived there but not for that week because the son did not trust me alone in the house, it would raise suspicions and so it was best that I just gave my Mums address for the purpose of the police interview, so I did.

    I am still waiting to hear back from my solicitor, they referred me to someone else and now I have been waiting two weeks for a response.

    If it goes to crown court, I would be shocked if a jury prosecuted someone for something they unknowingly did wrong when they was 16 and 17 years old with no family support and mental health problems, I am more concerned about a magistrate to be honest! If I get a criminal record I will not be able to continue running my business or go to university next year as I had planned and this really upsets me. I find it really scary that you can be prosecuted for such mistakes. I really feel like at 16 I should have been given more advice and support about clamming benefits, considering the punishments are so severe, if you do make a mistake. 16 and 17 year olds are generally not wise enough to understand the responsibities of claiming and I did not understand why I could and couldn't do.

    Anyone else in a similar position or have been?
    I agree & I find it quite disturbing that they are going to such extreme measures these days to claw back money. This country is just getting worse & worse. I was 40 when they stitched me up & I was nieve enough to not realise it then, what chance does a teenager have of understanding the complex way that benefits work, you just wanted a roof over your head.
    Hope you can find a benefit solicitor that will fight your corner for you.
    My children are 17 & 15 & wouldn't even be savvy enough to catch a bus on their own at the moment, yes, I have spoilt them with a car. There is no way at all they would know what to do with benefits.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Benefit fraud PROSECUTION. IUC?? Please HELP and reply :-(

    Slightly disagree. Yes the workings of the DWP are complicated, but you just answer the questions they ask by giving accurate information and they tell you what your entitlements are. If there is anything which you are not sure of, then you ask the question or make DWP aware of, so at least they can't say that you did not mention it later.

    In this situation of being accussed of claiming benefits not entitled to, then I would suggest that people visit their local Citizens Advice Bureau ASAP or to call them to book an urgent appointment. They may have solicitors or advisors that can help in this situation.

    http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/index/getadvice.htm


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