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forgery of childcare reciepts


millie111
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please please i need some help ive done the most stupid thing in my life,i have forged my chilcare reciepts for 4 years and housing benifit and tax credit want to see me on monday i claimed 175.00 per week for both children im going out of my mind with worry my husband left me 4 years ago and i didnt want my children to go without they both have been in childcare at the local school and ipay the school 45.00 for both children but i didnt tell housing or tax credits that i had changed providers the school is going to give me reciepts going back 4 years but its the worry of my forging the reciepts from my old childminder im hopeing some one can help me ive neber been in trouble before,the housing benefit have been to see my old chilminder and shown her all the reciepts and to that she said they are not my reciepts i havent had the children for 4 years they have asked her if she would be a witness if they were to take me to court and she said no.will i be sent to prison im so scared ive let myself and all my famil;y down as they do not know anything about this at all

 

could some one help me as i dont no what to do

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Hi millie

 

Welcome to CAG

 

The guys will be happy to advise as soon as they are available.

 

Don't panic, sometimes things look a lot worse then they are.

 

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Hello millie.

 

I'm guessing you'll need to tell them the truth about what you've done. From reading the forum, it seems that the authorities can be fairly understanding, but I don't know much about childcare benefit. You may well need to repay what you've overclaimed, but from what I've read here it could well be in instalments.

 

You have a week to prepare for this meeting, hopefully other forum members who have experience of your problem will be along with advice for you.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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This case is vastly different from other threads here in that the majority of threads here are about not declaring a change in childcare costs/provider or providing a false declaration in relation to the same, to tax credit. In this case, we appear to be dealing with the local authority for housing benefit and HMRC for the tax credit side as you have mentioned that both want to see you. If both want to see you at he same time and place on Monday, this means a joint investigation which tends to be more serious than the other threads here, where there is no investigation as such but an admission upon review. This case also involves another element seperate to the other cases - forgery. In view of that, I would not advise you to compare you case to other cases here as they are very different from yours.

 

We are not able to say what sentance a court will impose because we cannot be certain. But we can give advice about your case in general, what is likely to happen and give you an overview of what happens with a prosecution.

 

Given the length of time the fraud has been carried out over and the fact that it is pre-meditated with the use of forgery, it is likely that this case would be referred for prosecution proceedings.

 

When a referral is received, two tests are applied to establish whether prosecution should go ahead: the evidential test and the public interest test. If they decide that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute and it is within the public interest to do so, then your case will be actioned for the commencement of prosecution proceedings. When summonsed to court, you will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, the case ends there and you could either be sentenced on the day or sentencing can be deferred to a later date. 'Sentence' means the punishment you will receive, it does not automatically mean imprisonment. If you plead 'not guilty', a date will be set for trial both the prosecution and the defence will prepare their cases. Your former childminder can be served with witness summons, in which case she would have little choice but to attend and testify if it went to trial. A witness who is summonsed faces being held in contempt of court if they refuse to attend, refuse to be sworn, or refuse to give evidence.

 

The purpose of a trial is to present all of the evidence and argue each side of the case. The onus is on the prosecution to prove the case beyond all reasonable doubt. You are under no obligation to prove that you didn't do it; it;s for them to prove that you did. Your defence will present any mitigating circumstances to the court. During a trial, the prosecution puts all the evidence and witnesses before the court. The defence then has the opportunity to robustly challenge the evidence and cross examine any witnesses. If the defence has any evidence or witnesses to present, they do this after the prosecution. The prosecution then also has a chance to challenge any evidence and cross examine any defence witnesses. You do not have to take the stand in your own defence but you may if your representative feels that it would help your case. After all of this, both the prosecution and the defence will 'sum up' to the court and the court will adjourn for a verdict to be made. If the verdict is that you are innocent, you are free to leave the court. If the verdict is that you are guilty, you will either be sentenced there and then or they will defer sentence to a later date. You can only be found guilty if it is accepted that the prosecution has proven beyond all reasonable doubt that you committed fraud.

 

It is important to say at this stage that fraud is tried in a criminal court therefore they must prove beyond all reasonable doubt that you committed fraud. However, the overpayment decision is one based in civil law which has a much lower standard of proof (on the balance of probability). Therefore you can be found innocent of fraud in a criminal court but still have an overpayment of benefit to repay.

 

Whether or not you would go to prison is the decision of the court, and it's impossible to say with any degree of certainty whether or not you would be, particularly with such limited information to go on. There are other penalties available which include community punishment orders or fines. Prison is usually a last resort where there is no other sentence which would be appropriate for the offence committed.

 

I would strongly urge you to get yourself a solicitor - if this meeting you have to attend on Monday is an interview under caution, it would be advisable for you to have a solicitor in attendance given that you have committed fraud and that you know they have evidence. The solicitor will be able to get a disclosure prior to going into the interview and though he or she cannot answer the questions they put to you, he or she can guide you in regard to which questions to answer and which to give no comment to. He or she can also recognise when a certain question should not be asked an can stop that. If you canot get a solicitor before Monday, you can get in touch with them and ask them to defer the interview to allow you to seek legal advice.

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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hi thankyou for your reply i cannont get a solicitor as i cannont get legal aid and i cannont afford to pay one? what shall i do the childminder has said they are not her reciepts and its not her signiture?

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hi i have just come back from CAB they say its best to tell the truth as they have the evidence,its complety up to the council if they take me to court,its a matter of waiting untill monday not knowing whether i am going to go to prison or not im single and im worried to death about my children as no one knows what ive done and my children carnt understand why i am so stressed at the momment neither my family as im having to keep it all in as im so ashamed of my self.I ve never done anything wrong before.I had an awfull partner years ago who nearly killed me and he was sentenced to 1 year in prison the abuse i had off him was awfull my childminder also had the abuse in the street off him that is why i left the childminder but was going to send my children back once things died down but didnt as they were happy were they were they have been in child care since i left my other provider but i didnt tell the housing and it is a lot less than i claimed my local school is supplying me with 3 years reciepts

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Hi Millie

 

If you contact a solicitor, explain that you are not entitled to legal aid, as I was in the same situation and wasnt entitled to legal aid, I went to see a solicitor who offered me a fixed fee...might be worth a try. I would not advise going to see anyone without legal representation....so perhaps find a solicitor, the CAB gave me some names and addresses of some solicitors in my area.

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yes i have an appoitment tommorow with a solicitor tommorow i will let you know how i get on thank you very much for your posts

 

That's good news - please do let us know how it goes. Remember at this stage, you only know what you have heard from others (presumably your former childminder). Your solicitor will be able to get a disclosure immediately prior to an interviwe under caution to find out what other (if any) evidence they have. The best advice from here on, is to follow the guidance of your solicitor. Some (not all) solicitors who help with criminal matters (the fraud in itself) have no experience of welfare legislation aside from the criminal side, i.e the fraud - remember what I said about the overpayment itself being dealt with by civil law? Once you have a figure for the overpayment, it would perhaps be worth your while seeing a welfare rights officer to work out the true amount of your overpayment to ensure that it is correct. Sometimes (in fact a lot of the time) overpayments are calculated incorrectly. Civil recovery of the overpayment and the criminal charge of fraud are dealt with seperately. You only have one month from the date that they decide you have been overpaid to appeal against any overpayment decision. Once you get an official decision - which may be some months from now - you want to make sure the overpayment calculation is correct, and if not, appeal the amount.

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 have a solicitor for monday to come with me he basically said the same as the above posts,i have also rang tax credits to tell them as i will have an overpayment and they will be sending me a new tax credit from with the overpayment on im just hoping now that monday they waont take me to court and let me pay it off my employer has also said he will give me extra hours to be able to pay this off,im still very very scared just now knowing what the housing benefit will do.I was wondering as i will be paying tax credits back what will the council want off me?

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  • 3 weeks later...

hi just wanted to let you know how i got on went for the interview under caution with my solicitor and i have told them everything,they are trying now to get my housing benefit sorted so not to be thrown out of my home.Thet said this may take a few months to investage as they are investing all my jobs that i have had from years and years ago too as i was a self employed cleaner i have gave them all the addresses of every 1 that i worked for,as if any one knows when you are selfemployed a s a cleaner when they go away on hoildays etc you do not get paid so for the 2 weeks i was off from them i got 2 weeks work with someome else they said why didnt i inform them of this and i explained that people would not give me letters for the housing as it was my resposabilty as i was selfemployed,its not far as they say if you do not get letters of them they will not pay housing benefit,i have always worked and never been on income support as they could see on my forms,i feel im being investegate for evey thing form work ebay tax credits you name it there looking in too it,i jsut wish it wasent going on so long as i just do not know what to expect,alot of the people i worked for moved away and 2 of the people i worked for went into a home. I haver told the truth about every thing and also rang tax cedits up to tell them i have an overpayment with them now for

£5000 i was wondering will the housing take the same???

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  • 1 month later...

hi all i still havent heard any thing form the housing and its been weeks now? i was wondering if any one could answer my question.I am now paying tax credits back as i rang them and told them i had been claiming child care and they had stopped going over 3 years a go and i am now paying back £5000 but the housing beneifit will want me to pay the childcare that i claimed too is it right that i am paying tax credits back so do i have to pay the council too that will mean i am paying twice?hope someone an undersatnd what im saying?

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