Man fraudulently claimed nearly £17,000 in benefit payments

A WYCHBOLD man has has been prosecuted for fraudulently claiming nearly £17,000 in benefit payments.

David Young, aged 45, currently living at Pear Tree Way, Wychbold, claimed jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit, claiming that he was unemployed from July 2009. However, a council investigator discovered that Young was a director of his own company.

In July 2010, he ended his claim for jobseeker’s allowance but he continued to claim housing benefit and council tax benefit fraudulently as he failed to disclose the true level of his income.

It was established during the course of the investigation, which was a joint operation between Wychavon District Council, Bromsgrove District Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), that in order to hide his true financial circumstances Young had forged financial documents that had been submitted in support of his claim.

The overpayments in connection with his fraudulent claims amounted to £16,856.92.

The case was heard at Worcester Magistrates Court on November 21. Young pleaded guilty to three charges of dishonestly submitting false claims in order to claim benefits.

In mitigation the court heard that he had not declared that he was a director of his company as he classed himself as an employee, and that as a result of the investigation into his claims he had lost his FSA accreditation and could now only work as an administrator in his company.

During sentencing, the magistrates said that they felt Young’s profession as a financial advisor had to be taken into account. Young was given custodial prison sentence of 18 weeks, reduced to 12 weeks in light of the early guilty plea and suspended for 12 months. During the 12 months Young must complete 150 hours of unpaid work.

Young was also ordered to pay costs totalling £1,315.00, and he will have to fully repay the benefits to which he was not entitled.


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