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Benefit fraud partly under age & unfair investigator. PLEASE HELP!

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Hello,

 

Firstly, my main concern here is how the investigation is being dealt with as in my opinion, if I have unknowingly done something wrong, then I have to cross that bridge when I come to it but I have SERIOUS concerns.Although I am worried about all of it and am in need of advice.

 

- I receive a call back in April, my benefit had been suspended in March. I knew why and called them got told to call this benefit fraud woman and I did. Gave her my email as I had no fixed abode and emailed her explaining what had happened which in a nutshell;

 

Was renting a room, landlord turned out to be a sub-letter landlord found out and went crazy, everyone got told to be out by the next Day and that our tenancies meant nothing. The subletting guy promised me another room ASAP so I planned to continue claiming while I found another room THEN inform the council of my new address as i was worried about a big gap with starting a new claim. Sent an email explaining this and left it.

 

- I get an email with a letter for interview under caution on JUNE 2012. The date was when I was away at a family wedding and oddly was on a Saturday?! I emailed her on June 27th saying I am sorry I cannot attend can we re-arrange. I herd nothing. I called and left my name and number twice. I left it.

 

- OCTOBER 2012 The leading officer dealing with my case calls me out of the blue and says we need to arrange an interview. I agree and she books it for 3 weeks time and Says that she will send it in letter form to my old address as I can still get my post from there. Letter states its about X address and X problem. I DID NOT seek LEGAL ADVICE because I knew what it was, 3 weeks over payment, failure to notify etc.

 

- Get to interview under caution and she interviews me about the past 4 years of my life, 3 addresses and a number of people for 2 and a half hours! It was exhausting.

 

NOW THE REAL CONCERN

 

She turns up at my middle landlords property, she is looking at 3 claims at 3 address;

 

Address 1: 16 years old, paid straight to landlord

Adress 2: 16 - 17 years old, paid to me

Address 3: 18- 19 years old, paid to me

 

-She turns up at address 2, unannounced and questioned my 76 year old landlord for over an hour, unrecorded. She tells him I have been claiming at HIS address for 4 years, this angered him. She also disclosed to him that my landlord at address 3 has a criminal record and she believes together me and him are part of a large scale fraud. She tells my ex landlord that I was claiming at 16 etc etc. Makes remarks such as "believe me, ill be prosecuting this girl, every case I get I take them down, I don't care if there OAPs, disabled, I get them, this girls has lied to me on tape through her whole interview"

 

I was DISGUSTED to hear this. By the way, my interview was on the Thursday until office closing time, she turned up here on the Monday.

 

My current partner is the son of landlord 2, we got into an actual relationship when I was living at another property AFTER this date, during my time at his parents he lived in Spain and worked there. So of course we know word for word in all truth what was said, my ex landlord was so disgusted with how she acted that hes retracted the statement and is complaining.

 

Im so CONFUSED. I do not know what im being investigated for or what is happening. We didn't get to finish the interview and I had no time to ask questions, she now refuses to get back to me, meet me again until she has ore evidence etc. I am waiting for my useless solicitors to contact me, I have been waiting 2 weeks for a referral.

 

I want to know how she can act like this, this isnt fair or impartial? How can she lie to my landlord to provoke anger and get away with it. How can she tell me the interview is about one small thing, then sit and interview me for so long. I am worried because I tried to answer the questions so I did not look uncooperative but I cannot remember everything from when I was 16. I was a bit of a tearaway, I had depression and eating problems and I did not really understand my legal obligations to claiming benefits, in all honesty, I didn't care back then.

 

I know I have written A LOT but no one can help me if I do not lay down the facts.

 

Does anyone know if I can do anything about her behavior and;

 

IF they find I done something fraudulent under the age of 18, is this taken into consideration?

 

Any other advice, experiences?

 

THANK YOU

 

Interview info and accusations

EDIT: In interview she was suspicious because you can see X benefit going out but Y cash withdrawals that do not add up. I explained my rent was paid in cash, as stated on application and that I received "charitable donations" as I was not in a fit state of mind to work and was too young to claim anything, not that I even knew what was out there.

 

I got say £250 in Charitable donations per month. My rent for example was £90 a week. I used to used the cash I got to pay rent and withdraw the different from my bank, so if I had £50 cash sitting there, I would only draw out £40 from my bank. Then I used what was left in my bank from housing benefit to pay for the stuff that the charitable donations was meant for, food, clothes etc. I said to her, why am I going to take cash to the bank every week, only to take cash back out??? I was terrible with money so I paid for things using card, I said, if I had £20 and only needed to spend £5, id end up spending the whole £20, its what I was like.

 

Firstly she accused me of taking money from my partner or friends and paying rent with it, I don't understand whats wrong with this, money is money, they knew how much money I received every month, its up to me what pot I pay it from, its all still MONEY!

 

Then she said, ok, lets say you wasn't having your rent paid by someone else, then I think you wasn't paying your landlord???

 

Her accusations were contradicting to say the least. I was honest and just said, look, I was 16-18 during these periods, my life was a mess, I did not keep paperwork ,record monies and quite frankly wasn't bothered about it, I was consumed with depression and that was the least of my worries. Now I am 20, have started my own sole trading company that is going well, I have matured so much am no longer depressed or taking medication and I am supporting myself. I feel like my careless behavior from when I was a minor is biting me in the backside and I understand if I was wrong, I was wrong, I need to face that but I am being treated like I was a completely comprehendable adult that knowingly plotted to [problem] the system because I am organised criminal.

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Hi,

 

I have another post that asks more and different questions but I have made this thread because I just want to know, if after the investigation the council believe I have committed fraud and can prosecute if the offences took place when I was 16 and 17. This is for housing benefit.

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Sorry, that was supposed to say; If they think I have committed fraud and want to prosecute, will my age at the time of the offecne matter. Would it be less likely to go to court because of the age I was a the time. If I have done something wrong then I am ready to face it, although I can honestly say I did not knowingly defraud the system, if indeed I have. What I am worried about is being prosecuted for being a stupidly careless 16 and 17 year old, that will prevent me from going to university next year and have an effect on the business I am now running. (I am 20 now). I run my business from a commercial premises but involves animals and need to be CRB checked for the type of work I do, in order to gain clients trust.

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style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 2528 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

If you are trying to post information which is relevant to the story in this thread then please flag it up to the site team and they will allow you to post.

Thank you
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