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sakwer

In court soon regarding Benefit fraud

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Hi there,

I am to appear in court for the housing benefit fraud charges.

 

I claimed housing benefits back in October 2014 while i was working part time.

i became full-time university student in September 2014.

 

when i made claim for housing benefits online,

I mentioned that i am not full-time student.

then benefits started and I ended my part-time job.

 

Housing Benefits never stopped until july 2016 when i was interviewed under caution for benefit fraud.

 

total amount for the housing benefits came up to around £4800.

 

I have completed my degree in may 2017 now i am looking for graduate role.

 

I am very scared and depressed knowing that i had committed fraud.

 

If I plead guilty would I be sent to prison?

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Hello there.

 

Can I ask a couple of questions please? Which country of the UK are you in? And have you taken legal advice?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I am from England. I have not taken any advice yet

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Thank you for that. How long before the court date please?

 

And would you qualify for legal aid?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I am appearing on 18th September.

I am not sure how does legal aid work.

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I can't post links from my phone, I'll find you a link later if nobody else does.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thank you so much.

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Hello again.

 

Here's a link to the government website about Legal Aid.

 

https://www.gov.uk/check-legal-aid

 

Have you talked to anyone about this like the CAB or a local community law centre?

 

I'll send a couple of SOSs for you and see if a couple of forum regulars can get here.

 

HB

Edited by honeybee13

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Link missing honeybee

 

Regards

  • Haha 1

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Not my area of knowledge, but for those with knowledge to help, more information is needed.

 

Did you deliberately provide any false information regarding your benefit claim ? Or was it simply the case that you did not advise of your change in circumstances ?

 

Can you provide more information on the history of this claim. At what point did you stop being eligible for the claim and why were you no longer eligible ?

 

Were you interviewed under caution about this housing benefit claim and accused of fraudulently claiming ? How did the council become aware of this possible fraud ? Have you obtained a full copy of the interview transcript from the council ?

 

If you are going to Magistrates next week, you need to see a local Solicitors in the next few days. Ideally it needs to be a Solicitors that deals with such issues.


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Link missing honeybee

 

Regards

 

Thank you Dave. :) The site hasn't been working well for me tonight. Post edited to add the link.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi there,

I am to appear in court for the housing benefit fraud charges.

 

I claimed housing benefits back in October 2014 while i was working part time.

i became full-time university student in September 2014.

 

when i made claim for housing benefits online,

I mentioned that i am not full-time student.

then benefits started and I ended my part-time job.

 

Housing Benefits never stopped until july 2016 when i was interviewed under caution for benefit fraud.

 

total amount for the housing benefits came up to around £4800.

 

I have completed my degree in may 2017 now i am looking for graduate role.

 

I am very scared and depressed knowing that i had committed fraud.

 

If I plead guilty would I be sent to prison?

 

Not sure what advice to give here.

 

You became a student prior to part time work and you claimed HB after you became a student and whilst working part time and you declared at the time of the claim you weren't a Student?

 

If so then it will be a false from outset case as you made a false statement/declaration.

 

Did you admit the offence at the IUC i.e. the earliest opportunity as this will go in your favour at court and when looking at what sentence to offer?

 

The chances of prison are very slim, especially for £4,800. Likely be a conditional discharge, a fine or a fine and a community order, but it all depends on the judge and how you plead versus the evidence.

 

If you go not guilty you may end up with a worse sentence as from the post it appears you made false statements to obtain the benefit.

  • Haha 1

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Thank you for answering the SOS, tomtom. :)

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Do not leave it more than a few days before getting legal advice locally, as your advisor might need to do some work before the hearing.

 

If you are struggling to cope with this e.g anxiety, depression, then try to book an urgent appointment with a Doctor to see what help they can provide.


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Link missing honeybee

 

Regards

 

Thanks for mentioning that:roll:

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Not sure what advice to give here.

 

You became a student prior to part time work and you claimed HB after you became a student and whilst working part time and you declared at the time of the claim you weren't a Student?

 

If so then it will be a false from outset case as you made a false statement/declaration.

 

Did you admit the offence at the IUC i.e. the earliest opportunity as this will go in your favour at court and when looking at what sentence to offer?

 

The chances of prison are very slim, especially for £4,800. Likely be a conditional discharge, a fine or a fine and a community order, but it all depends on the judge and how you plead versus the evidence.

 

If you go not guilty you may end up with a worse sentence as from the post it appears you made false statements to obtain the benefit.

 

No unfortunately I did not admit the offence at the IUC. As I was very scared of telling them the truth. However, immediately after receiving the letter from DWP for the IUC I told Council that I am full-time student then council had stopped my benefits and asked me to return every single penny they had paid me in HB.

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No unfortunately I did not admit the offence at the IUC. As I was very scared of telling them the truth. However, immediately after receiving the letter from DWP for the IUC I told Council that I am full-time student then council had stopped my benefits and asked me to return every single penny they had paid me in HB.

 

You need to get legal advice then. Some places offer 30 mins free or speak with the duty solicitor at court if they have one on the day, but ideally you need to decide what you want to plead before the court date.

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No unfortunately I did not admit the offence at the IUC. As I was very scared of telling them the truth. However, immediately after receiving the letter from DWP for the IUC I told Council that I am full-time student then council had stopped my benefits and asked me to return every single penny they had paid me in HB.

 

From what little you have said, you don't seem to understand the benefit process and what the requirements are to be entitled to receive a benefit. I.e you never intended to set out to deliberately give false information. Then later on you found out that you did not qualify for the benefit and did not know what to do.

 

Although you come across as intelligent, i wonder whether English is your first language and you have failed to understand some of the information advised to you.

 

When you obtain legal advice you must be totally honest with the person you speak to. If they are going to represent you, then they must have all the correct information.


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From what little you have said, you don't seem to understand the benefit process and what the requirements are to be entitled to receive a benefit. I.e you never intended to set out to deliberately give false information. Then later on you found out that you did not qualify for the benefit and did not know what to do.

 

Although you come across as intelligent, i wonder whether English is your first language and you have failed to understand some of the information advised to you.

 

When you obtain legal advice you must be totally honest with the person you speak to. If they are going to represent you, then they must have all the correct information.

 

I would disagree, OP was a full time student at the time they made the claim, question asked on claim form "are you a full time student" answer "no I am not".

 

It's a straight forward question that they gave a false answer too. How you could answer no to a straightforward answer I cannot see how you could argue ignorance.

 

It's just like the one that asks if you are working and people answer no and then say well I was only doing 20 hours a week didn't think it mattered as it's not full time. The question is normally worded along the lines of "are you doing any paid or unpaid work?".

 

The forms and questions are quite specifically worded so that false/wrong information can only be given deliberately i.e. they only require a yes or no answer which you as the person filling it in would know if it was correct at the time they answered the question.

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I would disagree, OP was a full time student at the time they made the claim, question asked on claim form "are you a full time student" answer "no I am not".

 

It's a straight forward question that they gave a false answer too. How you could answer no to a straightforward answer I cannot see how you could argue ignorance.

.

 

What confused me is the OP saying they worked part time and entered into full time education around the same time.

 

I just raised the question as to whether they knowlingly gave false information to gain a benefit, they would not have qualified for otherwise.

 

Just trying not to make any assumptions as to what the OP originally intended. They might have made a mistake without fully realising that their actions would be considered benefit fraud.

 

Whoever they approach for legal advice needs to be told 100% the truth, so they know best way to proceed in court.


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What confused me is the OP saying they worked part time and entered into full-time education around the same time.

 

I just raised the question as to whether they knowingly gave false information to gain a benefit, they would not have qualified for otherwise.

 

Just trying not to make any assumptions as to what the OP originally intended. They might have made a mistake without fully realising that their actions would be considered benefit fraud.

 

Whoever they approach for legal advice needs to be told 100% the truth, so they know the best way to proceed in court.

 

Yes, I unfortunately knowingly said 'NO' to the question if I was a student at that time because I was financially struggling to cope with rent and everything else.

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Thank you, I checked if I could get Legal aid, I do not qualify for legal aid. I'll ask duty solicitor on the day of hearing if I could get any help. No, I did not talk to CAB yet but I am trying to arrange an appointment with local community law centre.

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What confused me is the OP saying they worked part time and entered into full time education around the same time.

 

I just raised the question as to whether they knowlingly gave false information to gain a benefit, they would not have qualified for otherwise.

 

Just trying not to make any assumptions as to what the OP originally intended. They might have made a mistake without fully realising that their actions would be considered benefit fraud.

 

Whoever they approach for legal advice needs to be told 100% the truth, so they know best way to proceed in court.

 

Yes, unfortunately, I knowingly gave false information to gain benefit. as I was struggling financially.

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Yes, unfortunately, I knowingly gave false information to gain benefit. as I was struggling financially.

 

That is not good then and you should have admitted it when you had the meeting with the council.

 

If you are still attending university, if you have access to student union or other body that helps students with issues, perhaps they have a legal rep they use. I doubt you are the only student to have done this.

 

I would guess you admit guilt and fully explain your mitigating circumstances that drove you to do this. A local Solicitors might know what you are likely to face. E.g community order.


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That is not good then and you should have admitted it when you had the meeting with the council.

 

If you are still attending university, if you have access to student union or other body that helps students with issues, perhaps they have a legal rep they use. I doubt you are the only student to have done this.

 

I would guess you admit guilt and fully explain your mitigating circumstances that drove you to do this. A local Solicitors might know what you are likely to face. E.g community order.

 

Thank you so much for your advice.

Also, I do not hold British citizenship but I have Indefinite Leave to Remain. In future when I apply for Nationality would I be rejected by Home office because I committed fraud?

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