Benefits cheat failed to declare pension
A PENSIONER has been warned he could face custody after failing to declare his Naval pension while claiming benefits worth more than £17,000.Sudbury man Albert Haigh , 75, admitted eight charges of dishonestly making false statements when he appeared at Sudbury Magistrates Court.
A PENSIONER has been warned he could face custody after failing to declare his Naval pension while claiming benefits worth more than £17,000.
Sudbury man Albert Haigh , 75, admitted eight charges of dishonestly making false statements when he appeared at Sudbury Magistrates Court.
The conviction came after officers from Babergh District Council found that Haigh, who lives in First Avenue, had deliberately failed to declare his Naval pension while claiming housing and council tax benefits.
Adjourning the case on Friday until April 24, magistrates warned the defendant that they were keeping all options open, including prison.
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A spokesman for the council said Haigh had already made arrangements to repay his council tax and would be contacted by Babergh about increasing his housing benefit repayments.
His conviction for benefit fraud was one of many secured by the district council's anti-fraud team.
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Mary Lawrence and Shaun Crawford, of Woolverstone Close, Pinewood, near Ipswich, each pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to declare changes of circumstance - after Crawford began cash-in-hand work but continued collecting his job seeker's allowance.
Magistrates in Sudbury imposed a six-month community punishment order on Crawford on Friday and gave Lawrence a one-year conditional discharge.
Each were ordered to pay housing and council tax benefit overpayments to the council and £150 in court costs.
Speaking after the cases, the council's head of revenues Bob Southgate said: “Our impressive track record in consistently securing convictions shows we are constantly working to unmask those individuals who continue to think it is acceptable to cheat taxpayers out of their money in this way.
"It is only a question of time before we root out people who are deliberately cheating the system in order to gain more than they are entitled to from the public purse. The message is clear - crime does not pay and we will come after you."