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Urgent help needed re benefit fraud


janehellen
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Hello, this is the first time here as I've been searching the internet for some help as I may have accidentally , due to being ill at the time, committed a benefit fraud

 

I have immediately stopped doing it and ended my claim, but I need some help from anyone here.

 

i am sorry i was very ill and it just got out of hand

 

I have severe depression because of this stupidity and would like any reassurance about the privacy of my information.

 

I need urgent help. I am not being investigated as far as I know but still in dire needs

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No one here would judge you or get you into trouble, they tend to support and give help here :)

 

You need to tell your story without giving away location or any personal details and then proper advice can be given. Then you can start putting it write and will feel stronger when facing up to it, you will know where you stand and what to do xxhuggsxx

Edited by loopinlouie
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Hi Jane.

 

Firstly, you need to establish if you have in actual fact committed (or potentially committed) benefit fraud. With some types of benefits this is cut-and-dry, but with others it can depend on a range of factors. There are many situations in which a person may think they have done something wrong when that haven't, and of course the opposite end of the stick where a person assumes they are claiming legitimately when they are not. There are currently approximately 40-odd different types of benefit and then there are other "associated" benefits with differing "rules" for each one.

 

Can you tell us how you think you may have done wrong? We may be able to confirm either way - depends on the complexity of your case. But I'd hate to think that you may otherwise fall into the category of someone who has voluntarily ended their entitlement because they thought that something was wrong when it wasn't.

 

If you have definately committed fraud we can advise what happens next, whether a referral for criminal proceedings would be likely in your case, and what sort of penalties the courts can impose.

 

We are not able to ensure privacy when posts are on a public forum. If you are using your real name, or a name whereby family members/friends could identify you easily, we can change it if you prefer to use something a little more anonymous.

My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.

(exceptions for prior authorisation)

 

 

 

 

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I'd get proper legal advice on intent & dishonesty , say if you were in WH Smith's and you thought I fancy that " Three Tenors " CD , then you patted your pockets and realised you didn't have your purse , so you waltzed past the tills onto the street , then the Store Detective ran after you and did a Citizen's Arrest for shoplifting . There's dishonesty & intent there .

 

The DWP are instructed to get an admission out of you & you to express intent . Some Solicitors advise people not to entertain the likes of LA's for HB & CT , if they feel they've a prima facie case with a 50 % + of getting a conviction let them go ahead . They can be a bit disingenuous , they know people are terrified of ending up in front of the beak and their name in the local rag & you will cooperate , not all the DWP / LA cases are strong .

 

Going back to the WH Smith's scenario , say if you realised that you'd genuinely been absent minded and you spotted your husband and he offered to pay when asked , the boundaries start getting blurred , at the very least there's mitigation & extenuating circumstances . If WH Smith had you in court for shoplifting , they've got to prove intent .

 

The DWP / LA's have to prove that you knowingly , wilfully , intentionally etc ....if you didn't do anything wilfully etc , you have to expect that a Prosecuting whatever will cross examine you .

 

Basically you're best running past your story past a solicitor , CAB , Welfare Rights Officer .....they'll play devils advocate on it for your own good to prepare you ....not past LA / DWP Officers , they can't as much as they'd like to draw adverse inferences ...they're just Officers not Prosecuting Solicitors or Judge + Jury .

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you for all of your replies, but I am terrified of putting all of my details here as I'm terrified that my personal details could be given to someone from DWP or other agency. However, as I'm in such sore straits, I must say something. My husband just asked me to sign forms for our entitlement to benefit and I just signed without checking all the details, just as one would do, although it is obvious now that a person signing a declaration is declaring that the informaiton is correct. My husband is terminally ill and we are under investigation by one of the government authorities. I am not only going to lose my husband in the very near future, but I will also land up in court as the monies owed could amount to £30k over a long period. Not only can I not pay this, I just don't know what to do. I have read that over £2,000 is prosecution and poss prison. Not only would prison make me forfeit my tenancy but I could not go to prison and neither could I ever pay back the money. I am so lost. Can anyone please help?

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I would see a solicitor ASAP ....this is complicated and involved so you better do damage limitation . You need a statement of affairs full stop . You go through your solicitor with all your dealings , whether they like or not you have cooperated ....you're not there for their benefit , nor to convict yourself , get the Officers Brownie Points , petty politics and keep pressure off their managers .

 

You won't get Prison , one guy did get 9 months in a Scottish Sherrif Court , he'd no criminal record , 52 and was ill ....however it went to the appeal court as sentences were so disparate . Sounds like over zealous Fraud Officers laying things on too thick and making mountains out of molehills in Witness Statements to draw adverse inferences . A over zealous Prosecuting Lawyer and a Judge looking for the limelight & promotion .

 

The rules are set by the DWP but ultimately Osborne cracks the whip for ideological reasons ....deserving & undeserving " oiks " . The sentencing guidelines are community punishment , alternatives are stiff fines on each count , tagging or probation .

 

There is a lot of pressure now as prosecutions fell by 11 % under New Labour .

 

What authorities look for in frauds is sophistication , more than one involved so it apparently becomes a conspiracy , cynicism etc . They're out for wilfully , knowlingly ....they may just back off if well advised as yours may just fail the intent test which can make a prosecution collapse .....I stress the word can . The problem with the law is that it is very black and white & a ass sometimes too .

 

On sentencing they look for culpability and mitigation and there are strict guidelines as to what they are . What they are looking for is did you cooperate with the court and not mess them about as they are very busy dealing with the local scroats who look on courts & punishment as a occupational hazard / way of life . They also go on remorse & admittance . If they can get you sentenced and in and out as quickly as possible , they'll go easy , a deal can be struck for the Prosecuting Lawyer to do just a basic outline and go easy on you and anything the Authorities state dismissed as irrelevent nonsense .

 

You're best hoping for a Magistrates Trial but they're quite entitled to refer a case to Crown Court which is a totally different beast & the costs go up .

 

Some authorities go strict zero tolerance , some are a bit smarter and though all benefit fraud prosecution cases pass the public interest test as the money could been appropriated correctly , some will back off if negative publicity outweighs the positive . There may be a bit of a mexican stand off and some antagonism though from the authorities ,

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Hi Jane,

 

Without you giving some ideas as to what has happened what types of benefits etc there is not much advice we can give you.

Please contact a member of the site team if you are offered help off the forum for a a paid or no win no fee service.

 

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