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  1. By the way, digital recordings can be used now, but a sealed master copy is still produced in the interview. I honestly don't know what the original posters problem is.....if you are that bothered, just don't attend the interview. I'm an investigator, and ALWAYS comply with PACE codes of practice because if I don't I've wasted my time.
  2. Remember, if you bring it to their attention rather than wait for it to be discovered then it is less likely to be treated as fraudulent.
  3. Hi did you declare these pensions on your claim forms and on any subsequent review forms? There is a specific question and a catch all of "do you have any other income?" As an investigator, if you have answered those questions "no" and I can prove "yes", then you are in trouble. My argument would be, if you thought the pension didn't matter and wouldn't affect your benefit, why didn't you declare it? Investigators aren't monsters, usually, so the IUC whilst stressful is really just a conversation. Take someone, anyone calm and sensible with you for moral support if you feel the need, but they will not be allowed to speak for you.
  4. DWP benefits such as JSA, ESA Income Support etc are rarely if ever affected by underlying entitlement, and the DWP are not under any obligation to take it into account anyway. Local Authorities however. do take it into account, and should have already done so before producing an overpayment figure with which to proceed to court. We would here anyway! We still should remember that she is the mother of young children, and she is unlikely to go to prison. Mitigation, mitigation mitigation!!!!
  5. Get a good solicitor, plead guilty at the earliest opportunity to receive the maximum reduction in sentence and get the solicitor to pile in a lot of mitigation. In my experience as a Fraud Investigator courts are extremely reluctant to give custodial sentences to mothers of young children if they have pleaded guilty and cooperated, so much so that I have never had anyone in that situation spend so much as an hour in custody!
  6. That doesn't seem much evidence. Thats the trouble with no commenting at an interview, if you don't enter in to a discussion you don't find out what they've got to provide explanations and a counter argument. I am a fraud investigator for a local authority and would definately need a lot more evidence than this to get a case approved for prosecution. You need to get your solicitor to work!! Sorry, I have never had anyone in your situation so I can't answer what you should do about returning home, and my experience is in England not Scotland.
  7. To have had the case progressed to this stage they obviously have strong evidence, such as financial links to suggest interdependency. What evidence did they show you at IUC? Your solicitor will have been made aware of the evidence against you by now anyway, so I fear you aren't telling us everything?
  8. Re the original question...the Court process is in the public domain. The newspapers decide which cases to publish, not the prosecuting authority. As a Fraud Investigator I hear all the time that the only punishment people fear is getting their name in the papers, so I must admit I actively encourage our local rag to attend some days when I've got cases in court. I might even issue a press release, but I can't decidde if it's published or not. It's part of the Justice system, anyone can turn up and view the workings of a court, including the press.
  9. Not where I work, I've never investigated a foreign national, immigrant, economic migrant or anyone for whom English is not their first language. That is just xenophobia.
  10. Just a few things. I'm an investigator, and I would never say you don't need or shouldn't bother with Legal Advice for an IUC. However, I am certainly not going to encourage you to get it...why would I? At IUC, part of my introduction specifically states you are entitled to legal representation, then I ask why you don't want it and explain that I will stop if you decide you do, can't get plainer than that? We are allowed to obtain confidential information, including bank statements, as long as it is proportionate and necessary to the investigation. Facebook, Bebo and twitter are legitimate areas for us to gather info, but it is not particular useful as actual evidence. But it is very useful as an indication of whether your allegation is true or not.....if you are supposed to be single and on benefits, you do not post about the partner who lives with you!! If you do, it is publicly available, and you should not be surprised to be faced with it at an IUC. As for Freedom of Information requests, as an investigator I wouldn't deal with it myself. It would be dealt with by a solicitor (in our LA anyway), who would decide if it was a lawful request or if any exemptions apply, which in a criminal investigation like fraud they probably would. Oh....and there is no 3 night stayover rule!!!!!
  11. Definately a criminal offence if convicted, we register the convictions on the Police National Computer also.
  12. Shazmojo yes of course you can write a letter, it can do no harm at all. I always tell people after an IUC that if anything comes to mind afterwards, or they remember that they have documentation, proof of anything that might help support their argument they should send them in. The investigator is duty bound to follow all reasonable lines of enquiry either to prove or disprove an allegation.
  13. Hi, I'm a Fraud Investigator, and the mythical 3 night rule does not exist !!!! If only it were that simple.
  14. What evidence do they have? What did they show you at your IUC? You need to think what you can produce to counter their evidence.
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