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Neild72

Help for Father in Law

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Hi all, first post so apologies if i have posted on the wrong forum!

 

I am here to ask for adivce for my Father in Law, he is saying that he owes the council £50,000 in benefits that he wasnt entitled to ( it is a very long story) basically, he bought a house when his mother died 11 yrs ago, rented it out but didnt tell the council ( he lives in council accomodation and receives various benfits)

He is now saying the council have found out about this, but i am not sure, ( i personally think he has run up debt on credit cards / bank loans etc, but it is easier to tell us the council have found out about his [problem]) he is saying that he has attended an interview, and it is "in the hands of auditors" would this be the chain of events?

 

my wife and i have advised him to seek legal advice ASAP ( this was in May) and advised him to move into his own property as it is unlikey that the Council would kick him out onto the streets, , but he is adament that selling his only asset will be enough to get the DWP of his back, from my understanding they can fine and impose prison sentances on benefit cheats, even if they pay back the money owed?

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated

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I think your suggestion to seek legal advice is correct, this is, potentially a bad situation.

 

If he has attended an interview, this is normally under caution, and could indeed lead to prosecution.

 

I think that maybe this thread should be on a more helpful forum so I have asked a member of the site team to move it for you.


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If they know about his asset and they want restituion they could well go after the equity in the property. Has he paid income tax on the rental income? The HMRC could well impose hefty fines and interest if not.

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Hi Neil

 

I have moved your thread here to the beneifts forum


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If the situation is as he has described it to you (that is, that he has fraudulently claimed £50,000 in Housing Benefit or other benefits) then he really must seek legal help as you have advised. This is potentially very serious. It would actually be better if he *has* simply run up consumer debt on credit cards/loans and doesn't want to tell you - he couldn't be criminally prosecuted for that.

 

But if it's the council or DWP and he's claimed benefits of £50,000 without telling them about a material fact (he owned a house) that would have affected his entitlement, he can, and almost certainly will for that amount, be prosecuted.

 

As mentioned by Harassed Senior, an Interview Under Caution is the usual first stage. "Under caution" basically means he would have been warned with the "you do not have to say anything..." stuff; that is, formally notified that they are in the process of gathering evidence that could be used to incriminate him in a court of law.

 

The council will use the information gathered there to determine whether or not to proceed to prosecution. In the "hands of the auditors" would be the council's legal section deciding how to proceed. If he's telling you the real facts, he's in trouble. And you're right - merely repaying the money may not be enough to stop criminal proceedings. The same basic procedure would apply if the DWP was investigating a fraud. And I imagine they (that is, the council and DWP) would collaborate if appropriate, sharing information and so on.

 

I don't know enough to say whether living in his house would be helpful or not.

 

Now I stress that I am not a lawyer, nor an expert in this field. But I strongly suggest (again) that he must seek legal advice as soon as possible.


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Apart from seeking Legal Help which is obvious I believe you should get the truth from your father in law before you go any further to help him example ask him if the council has sent him a letter stating about the frauding I doubt the council would have ring him up before you go for Legal Aid you have to make sure you have everything in order the Legal Aid advisor would want every documents that are needed and what he's been up to so perhaps sort out everything within the family then take the next step to get advice from Legal Aid.

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last week there was a BBC program on a little old lady of 80 years that did exactly the same thing. She got a substantial fine to be paid in 28 days or jail. She paid the £70000 plus cost up front.

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last week there was a BBC program on a little old lady of 80 years that did exactly the same thing. She got a substantial fine to be paid in 28 days or jail. She paid the £70000 plus cost up front.

 

How ridiculous the more money people have the worst they get. I am glad she's got found out.

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Did I mention that she had not worked a day in her life so makes you wonder how she was able to buy the mansion and also pay a £70000 fine plus costs.

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