Jump to content

 

BankFodder BankFodder


niwena

Being Prosecuted for Benefit Fraud - ** RESOLVED **

style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 2162 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

Recommended Posts

Hi I am new to this site, I have got myself into a similar situation and now I now have to go to court on 16th April, basically the overpayment according to the dwp is £6998.00, I immediately made a payment plan and I didn't hear from them since last week when I received the summons. I have 3 children the oldest is soon to be 4 and I am 30 weeks pregnant, my pregnancies get really complicated from about 32 weeks and I would either have to be induced due to the baby's growth tailing off. Anyway I am so scared of going to jail. I have paid back £1000.00 off the total amount.

I contacted a solicitor who was really good at reassuring me that I will not go to prison for that amount and especially that I was proactive in making a repayment plan. He says that its harsh that they are saying that I was dishonest from the beginning and that he will try to get the amount reduced. He advised me that entering an early guilty plea would be for the best and that he hopes that I will get a conditional discharge because of my good character.

 

My advice for anyone in this situation is to get legal advice because I went to the interview under caution without any legal advice and they do tend to trip people up, the people who interviewed me were very good at making me like and trust them and that was my mistake. Even after that when I called them back for an update as I had not heard anything for 11 weeks they were very pleasant and told me not to worry. so when I got the overpayment letter and started pay it off at £50.00 per week I stupidly thought that was the end of it. WRONG!

 

I have some research online and I hope what I read is not true and that dwp fraud investigators work to targets and they have performance related pay and that most people who are prosecuted are 'normally' law abiding citizens who end up with criminal records. Making 10 times harder to get jobs and may also have to spend their days on benefits when they could be working. I am not condoning benefit fraud, far from it but I am just saying that maybe if we were allowed to make amends through repayments etc. we could sort ourselves out and get back on track. I for one am never going anywhere near the benefits system ever again.

 

I really don't know what the outcome of my case will be and I am not ruling out prison because it could happen. But I am hoping that the judge will see that I am a normal mother of four who has done wrong and I am very sorry for it and that he or she will have mercy on me and give me a chance to make more amends. I don't know if I am going to get legal aid, my gut says no but we will see. I will up date the site on the outcome of the case in 2 weeks time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh and if anyone is going through anything similar please let me know. xxx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi All,

 

I new to this site and really wish to share my story as it could help someone in a similar position. Basically I am being prosecuted for an overpayment of £6998.00. Back in September 2013 I had an interview under caution in which I cooperated fully with the investigators. The investigators were very nice to me and made me like and trust them. The interview lasted for about 30 minutes and I did not have legal representation as I could not afford to pay for it. Anyway, I did not hear form them for 12 weeks. When I did hear from them it was the overpayment letter, I immediately started to pay it off at £50.00 per week, until now I have paid about £1000.00 off the total.

 

I was getting on with my life naively thinking that that would be the end of it but I was wrong. last week I received a letter from the CPS and the Welfare department charging me with 2 counts of dishonestly claiming income support. I have to appear before magistrates court in mid April.

 

Anyway, I immediately called a solicitor specialising in benefit fraud and he assured me with a 'degree of certainty' that I would not go to prison. This is due to the total amount and my previous good character. He also advised me to enter an early guilty plea and to give my mitigating circumstance. He hopes to get the amount reduced as he is not convinced that they calculated it properly. He said in an ideal world I would get a conditional discharge but that depends on the magistrates.

 

Although he is certain I will not go to jail, I am still not sure if he is over optimistic or not. I have 3 children the oldest of which will be 4 in may and I am currently 30 weeks pregnant. I have a lot of complications in my pregnancies from 32 weeks onwards due to the lack of growth of my babies. I also have diabetes and the stress of all this means that my sugar levels have gone haywire.

 

I think I may get either a suspended sentence and or community service. If I do get community service I am not sure how I can cope with looking after 4 babaies and doing community service. I hope the judges will be merciful as I am trying to make amends, I am truly sorry and it will never happen again as I am not going to go anywhere near the benefits system again.

 

If there is anyone in a similar position please feel free to reply to me. I will also update on anymore advice from my solicitor and the outcome of the case when it comes about.

 

p.s. I have applied for legal aid but I don't know if I will get it. Either way I don't know if I could manage in court without a solicitor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first thing I would ask is ... were the payments made in error via the DWP calculations or have you claimed for something you were not supposed to have i.e committed fraud by claiming something you are not entitled to? If the former then you may be liable to pay the overpayment back but in increments as you are doing now. The worrying bit of your post is you say the CPS are now involved which suggests they have some evidence of fraudulant activity? I am not judging you just trying to summarise what I am reading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well you know that the dwp would not perform an interview under caution unless they have some evidence, I did not report a change in my circumstances promptly but I did end the claim before I even knew I was being investigated. The dwp have just said to pay back all the money from the beginning of my claim, which is harsh because the claim was not fraudulent from the start. I just did not report that I had a change in circumstance.

 

That is why I am going to court now. Basically I didn't tell them that my partner had moved back in until 3 months after. That's when I ended the claim. I am not saying I didn't do wrong, I did. That's why the solicitor has advised me to enter a guilty plea, basically to stop me from going through the hassle of a trial.

 

Thanks for your reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like we've ended up with two threads on this same topic. No big deal, I'll just merge them together now.


PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING. EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi niwena, did you seek any advice from anyone when you got the overpayment letter through?

 

You should have been advised to appeal this amount.

 

I'm shocked this is going to court, it wasn't dishonest from the outset AND you ended the claim before you even knew they had begun investigating. To me this says a lot.

 

Sometimes people make mistakes...doesn't mean they have to pay for it the rest of their life.

 

I hope all goes well for you, I really do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi LifeisAMess,

 

Thank you so much for your kind words.

 

What can I say. I didn't appeal the overpayment, to be honest I was so scared of going to court that I felt it would be better to make a payment plan but that didn't work at all. I didn't seek any advice before received the court summons. I hope I don't go to prison as it would kill me to not see my children, they depend on me for everything. I am also pregnant and I am scared of the usual complications of my pregnancies. This is the worst thing ever, my solicitor thinks they wouldn't send me to prison but you never know.

 

I am so scared.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am torn on this, on one hand yes it is right that you have o repay the overpayment but it is also wrong that they are demanding genuine payments. I suppose it may depend on what the benefit it.

 

You do have a lot of mitigating factors which will help in reducing any sentence and yes your solicitor is correct in that pleading guilty at the first available opportunity (not necessarily the first appearance in court) will reduce any sentence by 1/3 .

 

IMHO it is right that this is taken to court as there is evidence of fraud which is a criminal offence . We must trust in the law to serve us well. I know it may feel very harsh right now but we can only go on what you have told us


Any opinion I give is from personal experience .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the overpayment decision is dated less than 13 months ago, then you can still appeal - and should if you can prove the date that your partner moved in.

 

 

You would have to make a late appeal based on being misadvised (your solicitor should have advised that you appeal).


We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone of good character is not going to go to prison for £7,000. Especially a pregnant woman with young kids.

 

Have you discussed the possibility with your solicitor of asking for an adjournment until your baby had been born?


Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

no i really just want to get it out of the way si i can get on with my life. i have been going through this since september and really want it over and done with,whatever the outcome. thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can understand & respect that. Good luck with that & the pregnancy.

 

Your overpayment isn't that big so it's highly unlikely to even get in the papers.

 

Get it over with and move on with your life x


Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thank you so much shoelover.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh my god! my court date is a week tomorrow Iam so scared of what is going to happen to me and I still haven't heard from the legal aid people :-(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chase them/ your solicitor up- don't leave till day of your hearing


Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

who do I call because the solicitor just got me and my partner to sign the forms and said that he will fill the rest in and send it to them. would I get a reply from them direct to me or would it come through the solicitor. If they refuse to pay I don't even know how much the solicitor will charge as he will not tell until legal aid make their decision. Any idea as to how much an average solicitor would cost for a morning at the courts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
who do I call because the solicitor just got me and my partner to sign the forms and said that he will fill the rest in and send it to them. would I get a reply from them direct to me or would it come through the solicitor. If they refuse to pay I don't even know how much the solicitor will charge as he will not tell until legal aid make their decision. Any idea as to how much an average solicitor would cost for a morning at the courts?

 

Ring the solicitor as they will have contact numbers for legal aid. You need to know to work on plan b if you can't get legal aid.

 

Was your solicitor a "duty" solicitor at court or one you instructed yourself? There have been lots of changes to legal aid- you may have heard of solicitors marching against the changes


Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its a solicitor I found myself, they specialise in benefit fraud cases, he seems to be really good and made me relax a little bit but obviously he needs paying, I don't know what to do if I cant get legal aid I don't know how I would face the court or what to say or even what the procedure is. I haven't even seen the inside of a police station before, let alone a magistrates court. Help! I am starting to panic again, cant be good for the baby :-(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

called the solicitor and he says he will chase legal aid tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I suggest you don't panic yet? You have more than enough on your plate! Cross that bridge if you come to it!

 

Have you been charged under section 112 or 111 of the Social Security Administration Act?


Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

111 (a)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is your solicitor going to try to get the charge reduced to a 112?

  • Haha 1

Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yes. he says there is enough evidence to get it reduced. i hope they will but he said to plead guilty but he wilk try to reduce it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi all

my court date is looming (weds). i have been chasing my solicitor for 3 days now and he hasnt got back to me. i dont know what to do. i dont kbow if legal aid has been granted or not and im not sure what to do next. its such a mess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...