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Hi,

 

I was recently convicted of benefit fraud,

during my case my prosecutor kept making personal attacks against me.

I made the mistake of letting the court know that I suffer from sever social anxiety and can't handle confrontation.

it made me suspicious as to why he would do this

 

 

when a piece of evidence that he told the judge of how much I had illegitimacy received over the time period of my claim

I calculated there was an error in the numbers.

 

 

When I applied for benefits I let the job center know that I had over the £6000 limit in savings,

so if my national insurance contributions had run out there was no way I could have received £70 a week.

 

I tried to tell my solicitor,

but because the prosecutor heard me try to tell my solicitor of the error,

the prosecutors abuse escalated causing me to turn in ward and not be able to think.

 

I was only latter that I realised that my solicitor had not been provided with this information

when I looked through the evidence that was supplied by the investigators.

I believe that this infringes on my human rights to a fair trial.

 

This was also not the only problem with my case.

When the DWP decided to pass my case on to the crown prosecution service,

it took another 10 months before I was called into court to answer charges

and have a court date set.

 

 

It took another 3 months for my trial to happen,

but my trial was canceled because the prosecutor had scheduled another trial on that same day that over ran

and my trial date was pushed forward another 3 months,

 

 

when I heard of the error in court my time limit of 13 months to appeal the DWP decision had run out.

 

I have tried to appeal through the tribunals but the judges are not interested in hearing what I have to say

and just tell me my time to appeal has run out.

 

Does Social Security Administration Act 1992 s116 (2) apply to my case

and could you tell me of any other laws or decision that could help as there as been gross abuse of process.

 

I can no longer find work in the area I am educated in, can you help, my situation has become very desperate.

 

Thanks,

 

 

suffy

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Hi, and welcome to CAG.

 

You need a lawyer to help with this sort of case. What you're saying, as I understand it, is that you were not given a fair trial as required by law. You may well be right about that, but it is way above our pay grade here on this online forum: we're volunteers and not legally trained.

 

All I can really say is that while there is an absolute limit for civil benefit appeals (13 months, as you know) this does not necessarily mean that the matter of how your criminal trial was conducted can't be addressed. The criminal and civil aspects of benefit fraud matters are separate. But yes, you'd need the advice of a lawyer to see what (if any) options you have.

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I dont understand how you could have not known how much the overpayment should have been.

This would have been communicated to you as soon as it was calculated

and that is when you should have appealed if you did not agree with it.

 

The prosecutor would have a copy of the same overpayment letter which you had.

 

Anyhow, in reponse to your direct question as to whether S116 (2) applies

- that would depend as to whether you were prosecuted under S112 of the Social Security Act

or if is was a S111 offence - there is no time limit on a S111 offence

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Hi,

 

At the time I was unemployed I did not know that you had to stop claiming benefits for 12 weeks before your next two years of NI contributions would kick in.

 

 

At the time I was suffering from a great deal of depression and was struggling to hold down a job for a month.

 

 

My weekly payments should have dropped to £20 a week, but because of DWP error it did not and I made the mistake of assuming my next lot of national insurance had kicked in.

 

The thing I forgot to mention was that I failed to inform the DWP of a shares account which is why they charged me with dishonestly claiming benefit,

but my overpayment would never have exceeded the £2000 limit if they had not made there mistake.

 

I believe the overpayment letter was keep from my solicitor to hide the error I was not aware of because I did not no about the 12 week rule for my next lot of NI contribution to kick in.

 

I don't know how to check is I was charge under section 112 or 111, I would appreciated it if you could let me know how to check that.

 

I checked the evidence supplied and it say that I had savings in excess of the permitted limit contrary to section 111A(1)(a) and (3).

 

 

The amount I owed was set to me as three separate parts for some reason and one of these letters was not included in the evidence for my solicitor.

 

 

I was only informed in court of the whole amount over the entire period of the over payment in court.

 

 

Because the prosecutor was behaving so aggressively I broke the time down into number of weeks the divided the over payment by the number of weeks which came to £70 week, but if my NI contributions for that six months had run out then my payment should have dropped to £20 which would have kept my overpayment to under the £2000 limit.

 

Since the trial I have managed to find a good number of DWP documents that seem to strongly indicate that I should have received a civil penalty, but it seem that the investigators and prosecutor were upset with the fact that I have worked hard all my life paying into the system far more tax than I have ever taken out, even with a sever anxiety issues that I suffer with.

 

 

I could quite easily sat on my backside and claimed benefit, but instead I pushed against my anxiety and found clever way of making my self useful whilst working.

 

 

I just went through a number of issues that left me suffering from a very sever depression and these jerks have decided to delay proceedings so that the time to appeal would run out and they could successfully destroy my life.

 

I am now looking at losing my home because I can no longer able to pass a DBS.

 

 

I struggle to deal with people so I am finding it very difficult to adapt to my new situation.

 

 

I thought I had had some hope of fighting against the abuse of process when I read the post on section 112, but I can't help but feel completely lost.

 

 

If there is anything you can tell me that would help it would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

suffy

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Its difficult to comment without knowing all the correct details but my understanding of what you are saying is as follows: - correct me if I am wrong

 

You were claiming JSA and did not tell them about a share account. When your contribution based JSA ran out you were transferred onto income based because they did not know that you had savings.

 

It is not the fault of the DWP that they continued your claim - you carried signing on and you did not tell them that you had savings in excess of £16k (I am assuming the £16k as that is the absolute cut off for means tested benefits). Had they been aware of these savings your claim would have ended and you would not have been asked if you wished to claim income related JSA.

 

You were charged under S111A which is not a time barred offence, it also demonstrates dishonesty, for example, a false declaration on a claim form.

 

It is possible that a decision was made not to prosecute you for the whole period of the overpayment but you say that the whole amount was read out in court so it seems that you were prosecuted for the whole period. I have no idea of whether the fact that one overpayment letter was missing from the bundle is anything that you can appeal against- you would need legal advice for this

 

Civil Penalties do not apply when an overpayment has been found due to a fraud investigation.

 

The investigators will not have been at all upset that you have worked all your life and it would have had no bearing on the way that they did their job. As for the prosecutor - I cannot speak for the legal profession but have been in court enough times to know that it isn't personal.

 

There was nothing to stop you appealing the overpayment decision as soon as you were notified of the overpayment, in fact, the overpayment letter tells you of your rights of appeal. There was certainly a period of time between you receiving that overpayment letter and being told that you were to be prosecuted - why did you not appeal at that time?

 

Sorry for answering in bullet points but it seemed the easiest way to address your questions. And I am sorry if my response sounds harsh but it sounds like you dont really understand what has happened

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I take no offense to being criticized as long as it is constructive, I actually welcome it because its a chance to learn more.

 

I have looked again at my letters and the say that they have decided that my over payment is due to misrepresenting the full amount of savings I had and I have to pay it back. There is no mention of my case being referred to the CPS.

 

Should I have received such a letter and who should have sent it to me, would it by any chance have been the Fraud Investigation Service (FIS). I did not receive any such letter nor was such a letter included in the evidence. Would this letter have informed me of the full amount and time period over which I received benefits.

 

If I contact the FIS involved what do I need to ask for, does the FIS decided to refer cases to the CPS?

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Check your paperwork that you were given after your interview under caution - there should be one which says 'what happens next' or something similar.

 

Your overpayment letter should have a paragraph saying 'without prejudice to any further action' (sorry cant remember the exact wording off the top of my head).

 

The team leader of the fraud team who interviewed you would have made a recommendation that they case may be suitable for prosecution but it is the CPS who decide whether or not to go ahead. There is a letter which is usually sent out by the investigator to let you know that the case is being referred to CPS, this would not form part of evidence. If you did not receive this I cannot see that it would affect the overall prosecution - again it is something that you would need to take legal advice on

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Hi,

 

Could you tell me if it is correct to charge under only part of a section s111A and not all of it, in my case s111 1(a) and 3, why can 1(b) be ignored.

 

I had another look at the Social Security Administration Act 1992 and s115A much more closely describes my case. It also outline the application of the offer of a civil penalty.

 

The drawing out the deadline is not the only example of abuse of process in my case, what can I do about this one, any help would again be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

suffy

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Section 111A of the Social Security Administration Act

(1) If a person dishonestly:

(a) makes a false statement or representation; [or]

(b) produces or furnishes, or causes or allows to be produced or furnished, any document or information which is false in a material particular; with a view to obtaining any benefit or other payment or advantage under the [relevant] social security legislation (whether for himself or for some other person), he shall be guilty of an offence.

 

There is an 'Or' between 1(a) and 1(b) indicating that both offences do not need to be used.

 

As for S115A - it is for the CPS to decide on which offences are to be charged- you say that you have been convicted of a S111A offence which as I said before is one of dishonestly failing to make a false statement or dishonestly report a change of circumstances. If you are looking at the legislation it clearly says in the side bar 'Penalty as alternative to prosecution, colluding employers etc'

A colluding employer is one who employs someone knowing that they are claiming benefit and then covers up for them when asked for information.

 

If I am being honest - you are clutching at very thin straws. This should have been discussed with your legal rep prior to the court hearing. You do not say whether or not you entered a guilty plea or if you were found guilty following a trial. If you are hoping to get the result overturned you need legal advice.

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Hi

 

Section 115A states the following: 'making of the overpayment was attributable to an act or omission', I failed to inform the DWP that I also had a shares in a company.

 

All the statements I made on the from (i.e.: unemployed, owned my own home, other savings) were all true. I would appreciate it if you could explain how section 111A still applies. How is a false statement on a form considered to have been made if you failed to fill out one section of it.

 

My crime is a crime of omission, but that's seems not to be serious enough for the prosecutor.

 

Teresa May comments should have been directed at investigators and prosecutors rather than the whole legal system.

 

I am starting to learn just how incompetent the solicitor I hired was, I previously had no experience of the law or knew any one who had, to get a recommendation. My solicitors website seem to give the impression that he had handled benefit cases before.

 

Is there any way I can report my solicitor to a ombudsman and recover the money I spent to hire the right legal professional to fight this abuse of process.

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All claim forms have very direct question with Yes or No answers.

 

If you have answered everything else correctly, can't you see that it would look like a deliberate intention to hide assets if you responded No when the answer was really Yes.

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In the form you are asked to tick a box and for different kinds of money you have then fill in an amount next to it.

 

Approximately 20% of all cases lead to a prosecution, are the DWP suppose to supply you with documentation as to how they came to a decision that your case is serious enough to refer to the CPS. The penalties policy gives example of when prosecution should apply.

 

The only box I seem to tick is the over £2000 and I would not have reached that if it was not due to a DWP error. I have not acted in a organised way to commit fraud, I have not used fraudulent documents to obtain more money, I have not claimed money for people who do not exist.

 

These I believe are conditions that would warrant a fraud conviction.

 

I really wish I knew what I know now back when it really mattered. The information for much of this is difficult to find. You need to become more aware of the terminology that is used regarding this matter, to find it. The penalties policy is at the link below for any one who is interested.

 

***I can't post this link because of the stupid restrictions this website applies, I would not give them a donation for this*****

http://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/398189/penalties-policy.pdf

 

What kind of information are FIS officer supposed to supply to you with? They seem to like to keep you in the dark, and use what ever powers they have to attack you.

 

My conviction actually hurts the public purse, because I don't pay a fine and the amount of tax I can produce is now greatly reduced.

Edited by antone
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Sorry, I have given up trying to explain it to you.

 

It doesn't really matter what you believe, it matters what the CPS and the Court believe. The bottom line is that you failed to declare assets and that is a criminal offence. Your signature was under a declaration saying that you have provided all of the information requested and that you may be prosecuted if you have failed to do so.

 

Good luck in getting your conviction reversed

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I sorry that your sorry but I seem to have this crazy notion of fairness.

 

There should be a process that decision makers are required to go through to arrive to an answer to prosecute or not, and why they don't make it available to me or make the process more transparent is very worrying to me.

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Sorry for getting frustrated with the limitation imposed on this website, especially when I trying to offer up useful information.

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I sorry that your sorry but I seem to have this crazy notion of fairness.

 

There should be a process that decision makers are required to go through to arrive to an answer to prosecute or not, and why they don't make it available to me or make the process more transparent is very worrying to me.

 

The process is: Is the overpayment above £2,000, if so then refer to CPS for prosecution.

 

see the policy here https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0ahUKEwjA-67AwILOAhUDSRoKHS4XCwIQFgglMAE&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.gov.uk%2Fgovernment%2Fuploads%2Fsystem%2Fuploads%2Fattachment_data%2Ffile%2F398189%2Fpenalties-policy.pdf&usg=AFQjCNG_lztEbXFLzjy0qRy7jKlJTfzLvg&sig2=hZmSKuaNtjMQZ4Xn370uLQ&cad=rja

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Sorry for getting frustrated with the limitation imposed on this website, especially when I trying to offer up useful information.

 

I've updated your post and activated the link (I did not change anything else). I think the limit is that you need to have made ten posts before you can add links - it's a useful antispam measure but unfortunately does sometimes catch genuine posters such as yourself. Sorry for any inconvenience.

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

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Could someone tell me what is the difference between 'false representation' and 'dishonest representation'?

 

If you could give some example of each that would be very helpful.

 

Thanks

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Google "Fraud Act 2006"

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I am not legally trained or qualified, any advice i offer is gleaned from experience and general knowledge, if you are still unsure after receiving advice please seek legal advice.

 

 

 

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Threads merged...please do not create separate threads on the same matter if you're unhappy with the responses.

 

Andyorch

We could do with some help from you.

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Hi,

 

Apparently it seems to depend on the category of harm or the amount of over payment. Anything over £5000 makes you dishonest.

 

I would post the link to the website but I can't.

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I am actually very happy to the responses, I have learnt a lot. I just wanted to draw attention to that point because it is important and wanted to get other opinions.

 

I think I am now ready to start a case against the DWP, for the ineptitude and corruption.

 

Praise be to google, I can't thank them enough, how can I make a donation to them.

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I sorry that your sorry but I seem to have this crazy notion of fairness.

There should be a process that decision makers are required to go through to arrive to an answer to prosecute or not, and why they don't make it available to me or make the process more transparent is very worrying to me.

 

 

Oh that's made me laugh when you want to donate to a serial tax avoider like Google

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