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Court date for benefit fraud


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hi thereim completely knew to this site so im not sure im actually poting correctly?! i dont think i should have clickd reply but dont know how else to do it..sorry if i blab on and on.. im at my wits end :(i really need some help...

 

i lived in Reading and had been made redundant from my job. I was getting job seekers to help me and housing benefit whilst looking for another job ( i have always worked and my career is the most important thing to me in the world and i was devestated at losing my job)

 

I decided to move back to where my family are from in Nottingham as I was going through a very difficult time and struggling to find work. I was advised to go into the job centre and advise that i was leaving which I did and they cancelled everything for me, and they advised to write a letter and send this to the council which I hand wrote and posted.I have always been very bad with my finances particularly after losing my job and getting in debt and been so overdrawn and in i buried my head in the sand and never checked my bank account/or bank statements infact i didnt even ever bother to open them!

 

i was on anti depressents and going through a break up and a death in my family. next thing i get a letter saying housing benefits had been going into my account each month still to the value of almost 6k over the year and i was being investigated for fraud!!!!

 

after a very few stressful months I had agreed to pay the money back, and cooperated fully and attended an interview of caution of which i was told was just procedure and not to worry. Through out the whole time they kept writing to the wrong house number and i repeatidly told them the correct number.

 

To my shock i got a phonce call yesterday saying i should have been in court and they were prosecuting me for benefit fraud even though all my mail was sent to the wrong address.they have re-sheduled the court date and i have been going absolutly out of my mind, feeling suicidal infact over this as i know 100% i did nit intentionall commit any fraud.

 

i am trying to seek legal aid and a solicitor but a few are saying that because i live in one town and the court hearing is at another- they wouldnt do it....is it possible that I can go to prison and will lose my job? as this will put me back in unemployment which surely doesnt make sense?? please someone help, becuase I feel so sick and stressed im not sure where to turn. i know i have a responisbilty to check my bank account and partly to blame for not chasing up my letter/checking what goes into my bank but i feel i have no leg to stand on.

 

I wasnt claiming any JSA i was openley working and paying tax, of course im not so silly to try to claim housing benefits! usually if any other benefit like JSA stops, the housing also stops and if I also sent a letter that they are saying they didnt get, then surely this is also their error? if they cant write to my correct door number after several times discussing the correct one, even IN the interview of caution- it makes me think how dare they accuse me of not sending them a letter- human errors can occur! im so frightened of going to prison!! i have 4 weeks to get some kind of legal aid!!

Edited by honeybee13
Putting in some paragraphs.
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Hello there and welcome to CAG.

 

I'll start a new thread for you on this forum. What you might try, to help people trying to you, is to click on Edit Post at the bottom of your post and put in a few paragraphs. If it's easier to read you should get more replies.

 

My best HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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First of all prison is very unlikely if it's the first time, the amount and it wasn't fraudulent from the start.

 

Personally I don't think they will believe you never once checked your bank statement in all that time, even if it was yo check your wages had been paid.

They will look at what can be expected, and the expectations will be someone who is working will check payments.

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I agree with Life-goes-on personally, it'll be very hard to convince a judge that you never checked your bank account in all that time, even a cashpoint shows you your bank balance. But prison is very very unlikely. It's not unusual for them to issue a court summons if they get no response to an invitation to an IUC. As apparently an IUC is your chance to offer any defense to the evidence they have basically.

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