Man who went on trip to Dubai is found guilty of benefit fraud

Marshall Aerospace (file photo)

Marshall Aerospace (file photo)

A 75-year-old Suffolk benefit cheat has been convicted of dishonestly receiving tens of thousands of pounds in benefits.

Kaj Jensen, of Whatfield Hall, Whatfield, near Hadleigh, went travelling abroad, spending money on restaurant and hotel bills and shopping at upmarket stores.

Jensen is likely to receive a suspended prison sentence when he returns to Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing on November 24.

Jensen, who went on holiday to Hong Kong and Dubai, as well as travelling to Ghana and Denmark, had denied being “deliberately dishonest” when filling in details of his income on a claim form. However, he failed to mention that he and his wife were receiving Danish pensions and that he had a private pension and held a number of company directorships.

He also failed to tell the authorities about two bank accounts he had.

Yesterday, after a jury convicted Jensen of three offences, Judge David Goodin said: “You carried out these offences over a period of time.

“I must pass a custodial sentence, but in view of your good character, 75 years of it, it seems to me I could pass a sentence at the level capable of being suspended. It would be my intention to suspend it, subject to the recommendations of a pre-sentence report.”

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Giving evidence during his trial, Jensen denied a suggestion from prosecution counsel Lynne Shirley that he had “deliberately set out to deceive” and was dishonest when he filled in a benefit claim form.

Jensen told the court that “dishonesty” was an alien word to him. “In terms of myself and my family, it is a word that would be completely out of the question,” he said.

Jensen was overpaid more than £23,000 housing benefit and £11,332 council tax benefit. He had denied dishonestly making a false statement in 2007 in a claim for housing benefit and council tax benefit by falsely representing he had declared all income, directorships, pensions and bank accounts for himself and his wife.

He also denied dishonestly failing to disclose information for the purpose of obtaining Discretionary Housing Payment and dishonestly failing to promptly notify a change in circumstances between June 2011 and June 2013 while in receipt of housing benefit and council tax benefit from Babergh District Council.