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A couple of years ago I moved in with a guy into his place. It was rented property and everything was in his name. It didn't last that long and 13 months later I moved out.

 

I was self employed and worked and had my own business. He was fully aware of me doing this and how much I earned etc.

 

Anyway, I received a letter through the door last month from the council benefit investigation team wanting to see me. It turns out after meeting with them that when I was there he claimed single persons allowance, housing allowance and incapacity allowance (only the latter i was aware of as I knew he was entitled to it). On top of this I paid him rent and paid some of the bills so I feel a bit of mug. This aside anyway, they are now investigating him. I helped in any way I could and provided them as much info as they wanted plus more.

 

I then texted him to find out what the heck he was playing at and since then had a barrage off him ranging from abuse to playing the sympathy card to begging to ask me to lie to them. This of course I'm not going to do!!! I'd like to make that clear. It has been horrible.

 

I know that assisting them and telling the truth is the right course of action and the one i'm going to stick to but I do feel like i'm the one with the noose around his neck. As wrong as he's done and he's stolen I also feel bad to be put into this situation. He wants me to lie and to say that I didn't live at the property and only visitied him from time to time and basically live on other peoples sofas and was mixed up. I paid the bills from time to time to help him out and that we occasionally slept together. I'm a self respected, proud and independent woman with her own successfull business so to be asked to declare this made me even more angry! Again, for the record... i'm not even contemplating lying for him!

 

Anyway... I had my meeting with them and told them everything and helped them as much as I could. I told my ex after that i wasn't lying to them and that I told them the truth and that if he had any brains when he had his meeting he would tell them the same... Anyway, he didn't and stuck to his above story!! I had a call off the investigation team last week to say he refuted everything I had told them (i'd prewarned them anyway that he may do that). I fear he's just dug the biggest hole for himself and they'll throw the book at him even more. I have a meeting again tomorrow to go over what he said. I can probably provide emails or letters to show we were a couple living together.

 

Morally I feel like i'm doing the right thing but I also feel guilt and that I'd doing the wrong thing! Like I'm snitching on someone and I really can't wait for all of this to be over.

 

Looking into figures and what he would have received as benefits over 13 months my estimate is around £9k. What will be his consequences of all this and will I have to go to testify against him in court do you think?

 

Thanks!

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He'll end up with a criminal record if found guilty.

 

The investigators will take statement/s from you.

 

You may have to go to court.

 

Don't know why you would get yourself involved in this but obviously your choice.

 

Maybe you should have asked the questions before you did.

 

Why worry about what will happen? Makes no sense.

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I'm more concerned about going to court really.... the idea of it just makes me nervous and the reason I got involved was because I was approached by the investigation team in the first place to help them. I don't think I have a choice to not help them or so they made out... in any case I don't mind doing so.

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He'll end up with a criminal record if found guilty.

 

The investigators will take statement/s from you.

 

You may have to go to court.

 

Don't know why you would get yourself involved in this but obviously your choice.

 

Maybe you should have asked the questions before you did.

 

Why worry about what will happen? Makes no sense.

 

On the other hand the poster could say nothing except 'no comment'. The poster was never involved with claiming benefits, so why bother getting involved?

 

It is for the council to be able to prove their case, not for the poster to have to decide which side they want to come down on. The way this is panning out is that the poster is likely to be dragged into it by the council and will probably end up having to go to court to give evidence against the claimant - all for the sake of 'getting involved'.

 

If it was me that they were trying their luck with and knowing that I had done nothing wrong, I would have refused to enter into any discussion or give any statement to the council. It's their's and the claimant's problem, not the poster's!

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I'm more concerned about going to court really.... the idea of it just makes me nervous and the reason I got involved was because I was approached by the investigation team in the first place to help them. I don't think I have a choice to not help them or so they made out... in any case I don't mind doing so.

 

Of course you had the choice. No one can force you to do anything. It is very likely that their case hangs on what you are saying and you will end up the 'star' witness'

 

On the other hand if you don't mind getting involved then OK, you have to live with it.

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Hensteeth couldn't have put it better myself.

 

Totally agree, why involve yourself?

 

They cause so much damage harassing vulnerable people.

 

I know of someone that was a grass and when they interviewed the person he grassed up, they put him in it.

 

Didn't actually realise they had until a year later read in the local paper how he'd been done for housing and council tax benefit fraud.

 

She told the investigator exactly who had reported her. She was then asked if he claimed any benefits, she said "no" as she didn't realise he did.

 

Turns out he did. Lol.....

 

Serves him right, ha ha ha.

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Hi sallypotter... sounds like you're coming down to me here when I was just after a bit of information.... thanks.

 

I have actually done nothing wrong here. I moved into his property and paid him money for what I thought was going to rent and bills... my half. I wasn't aware at all of this of what he was doing with it and proved so. I've already been told that this has no repurcussions on me too.

 

Thanks for the information Hensteeth. I didn't realise that I didn't have a choice in helping their investigations, I was told otherwise and reading about it online it is an offence to onstruct or to hold information regarding any investigation of theirs so I just followed what I thought was right. I also hate benefit cheats as I pay thousands, myself, each year to support these **** so do feel like I have some responsibility to help them. I also didnt want them to think I had anything to hide or was part of it and thought silence spoke that.

 

Thanks

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Hensteeth couldn't have put it better myself.

 

Totally agree, why involve yourself?

 

They cause so much damage harassing vulnerable people.

 

 

 

but he's not a vulnerable person... there are benefit cheats out there who deserve it! Surely you're not saying I've done the wrong thing? These investigation teams may pray on the vulnerable and get it wrong but they also do good work!

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Wafflefaffle,

 

Not coming down on anyone here.

 

I think you have done something wrong in not informing the Council that you lived in the property at the time you did, so don't be surprised when the Council Tax demand lands on your doorstep.

 

I wouldn't belive the no repurcussions that you have been told either.

 

Btw like the police you will be told all sorts of things by these people that are not true.

 

Have you never heard of "no comment" in police interviews for starters?

 

If that is allowed, of course you could have said "no comment" in a council tax investigation!

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In my opinion, keep out of this and let the authorities do what they have to. Yes, you have given them your statement - which is morally right to do as it is tax payers money. However, personally not something that I would have done and I certainly would not be attending court.

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Wafflefaffle,

 

Not coming down on anyone here.

 

I think you have done something wrong in not informing the Council that you lived in the property at the time you did, so don't be surprised when the Council Tax demand lands on your doorstep.

 

I wouldn't belive the no repurcussions that you have been told either.

 

Btw like the police you will be told all sorts of things by these people that are not true.

 

Have you never heard of "no comment" in police interviews for starters?

 

If that is allowed, of course you could have said "no comment" in a council tax investigation!

 

 

 

Thanks... i really didn't know what i was entitled to say and totally in the grey with it all! Maybe I should have got advice but my way of thinking was that I've done nothing wrong so I should just be transparent. I have nothing to hide so really I was being open for myself. If I'd refused to help and just said no comment etc wouldn't it make me look guilty?

 

He basically wanted to keep the place in his name on the tenancy. Which he explained and I understood that if it didn't work out between us then the place was still his, he still had his home and it was for me to move out. I understood that so I paid him my half of everything which is clearly shown in my bank statments. At the end of the day I thought I was paying my half of the council tax and rent. They explained that as he was the legal tenant of the place then it was his responsability to claim me living there to the council and it's no different to having a lodgers ie lodgers don't have to declare that... the owner/tenant does. This was also my way of thinking too but maybe it's wrong.

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After reading this I'm feeling a little bit dumb for getting involved but I really did think I had no choice to help them. Even though morally it was right had I had known I have a choice to not get involved I don't think I would have for my own stress levels. Thankyou for all your help!

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You don't have to help the Council anymore if you don't want to.

 

I think you can even withdraw your statement if you want and pretty sure you don't have to go to court.

 

Don't believe everything they tell you.

 

Unless they have other "proof" it's going to be your word against his about you living there.

 

I'm sure they have more than enough evidence without your assistance.

 

His defence could be he split up with you and you are being malicious now.

 

Not only that he's not happy now, think how unhappy he's going to be if this has serious implications for him.

 

You're stressed now.

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Why are we getting at the OP? A friend of mine was in a similar position. She was approached by the local council after leaving her partner. They did a similar thing, said she had lived there from A-Z, which she had. All the time her partner had not worked through physical illness, which she knew. He has claimed housing/council benefit, which she had no idea of. She had been paying the rent in their private rented house. She had paid the CT amount into his acct for him to pay.

 

They parted on ok terms. She gets this knock on the door. Being a truthful person, like the OP, she told the truth. She did not "snitch", neither did the OP. she was asked questions, which she answered to her knowledge. She could have lied, but she would be as bad as the benefit cheat, because lets face it..that's what it is.

 

The OP did the right thing. It is not our place to judge if she "snitched". It is not for us to tell her it was the wrong thing to do. Her ex made the decision to cheat the country out of money. He made the decision to lie and collect money he was not entitled to. It certainly is not the OP's fault and no one should make her feel that way. This site was set up to help people with consumer issues. At no point do we encourage people to help decieve. He had the money unlawfully, he should pay it back.

 

OP. here are some answers for your questions:

Yes, your ex may get a custodial sentence from this, depending on whether it is his first time or not.

You do not have to go to court. You can call the authority and explain you do not want to go. Unless they get an order from the court, they can't make you go. They can just use your writtne statement. They will use other evidence (bills paid by you etc). They will also have other evidence, otherwise, why would they have contacted you in the first place?

It is the responsibility of the person named on the council tax bill to inform them of changes (this is from someone who works in Council Benefit section) so you will not have it turned against you for not declaring it.

It is the councils responsibility to find the evidence. You are part of that evidence, as it occurred when you lived with him. This is likely because you paid bills arising from his home.

 

Lastly, do not think you have done anything wrong, because you have not. You were asked questions, which had you lied in your responses, you could have been in trouble. Well done for standing up and getting another benefit cheat dealt with.

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All advice is based on my experiences. I am NOT qualified and as such cannot be held responsible for any mistakes. If in doubt...get professional help.

If you like what i have said then make me a star!!

Some helpful links

I have been successful in many cases..here are links to some

Housing Act and deposits: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?266260-Deposit-being-withheld.-Please-advise&highlight=

Against Natwest: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?278646-N-west-v-Mrsfoot-s-Son.-***WON_ALL-CHARGES-REFUNDED***&highlight=

Against Swift Advances: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?46576-Me-V-Swift&highlight=

Against B&Q: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?172878-Me-vs-B-amp-Q&highlight=

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I agree the OP has done nothing wrong, they were asked for information and as they had nothing to hide gave it, if the ex is in trouble so be it. The easiest thing in life is to tell the truth and not try and hide or fudge things as they will always come back and bite you unless you are an extreemly good liar (and most people are not).

Its not the OP's fault that her ex could be in trouble, although if he had told her at the time what he was doing then she may have been more prepared for a knock at the door and decided to go with the no comment route. The only person to blame in all of this is IMO the ex.

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If I have been of any help, please click on my star and let me know, thank you.

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Completely bewildered as to why the OP is getting the sharp end of the stick here?

 

OK, it winds me up when people make a big deal about benefit cheats, because compared to the likes of Barclays and the MP's and what they swindle, it's small change...however, she did the only thing she could do under the circumstances, which was tell the truth. If she'd tried to cover up or lied for him, the chances were she'd have ended up being investigated herself, and I don't see why anyone should be asked to do that.

 

Her ex may not be guilty of crime of the century, but it was him alone who made the decision to not declare his partners income and continue to receive benefits he wasn't entitled to.

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"Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me". Martin Niemöller

 

"A vital ingredient of success is not knowing that what you're attempting can't be done. A person ignorant of the possibility of failure can be a half-brick in the path of the bicycle of history". - Terry Pratchett

 

If I've been helpful, please click my star. :oops:

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That was exactly where I was coming from Assisted Blonde. I'd just rather be upfront as I dont have a thing to hide.

 

In fact I'm angry that 1) he's asked me to lie putting myself at risk if I did and 2) that I was dragged into all this and 3) He took money from me for rent etc when it was just surplus cash to him. He wasn't the man I thought he was. My only real concern is going to court and the stress of it. I'm a strong woman but I hate things like this... they make me nervous. Standing up in front of a crowd and speaking etc.

 

I had no idea what was going on so the knock on the door was an unpleasant suprise. In fact the investigation in the first place was down to me (unintentionally). I moved to a new place and I was asked where I originally lived (by the council to sign up to pay council tax) and gave my ex partners address totally unknowing. I wouldn't have done that if I'd been aware and guilty just as much as him. I'm torn what to do but the right thing is always the best at the end of the day.

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Thankyou... I already had strong guilty feelings of being a "snitch" but the first few posts sort of added to it which I wasn't really expecting. I was only really after some sound advice or insight as to what I may have to go through if it went to court... I'm a little nervous of that fact! I'm having moral issues too... on one hand there's doing the right thing and telling the truth and helping them as much as possible but the other tug of war is the fact that at the time he was a student but now has progressed to a high standing job in acadmia and this could ruin his career so I'm struggling on those terms too. I know what I have to do though in my heart so I guess that is what counts.

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Hello and welcome to CAG. I've flagged your thread for the site team in case our benefits or legal people can add anything to what has been said.

 

My best, HB

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Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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There appears to be more & more people condoning fraud on this forum. That along with the general attitude towards DWP staff who bother to spend their own time trying to help people on here is the main reason I rarely post any more.

 

Sally you appear to have a bigger chip on your shoulder regarding this than most. On one hand you don't like it when vulnerable people are “bullied” by FIS however you are quite happy to help the ex partner on this thread try to get away with a genuine fraud. If it wasn't for the latter there'd be no one getting “bullied” in the first place. You can't have it both ways! Your attitude towards the OP “snitching” is a disgrace.

 

As for Wafflefaffle, the investigators will already have plenty of evidence on your Ex. They would not have been invited in for an IUC without it. However the DWP & council solicitors always ask the investigator to try to obtain statements when possible. If you decide to change your story now & give a false statement or just not cooperate you are opening yourself up to a possible charge of aiding & abetting. It would all depend on how willing the department solicitors in your area are to prosecute partners & what evidence is held, but as targets are now all about prosecutions that's the risk you'd be taking by listening to people who know little about what they are talking about & who's posts are totally against what this forum is supposed to about.

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