Benefits cheat blamed 'evil twin'

DWP

A benefit fraudster claiming his wife was his sister and a woman saying she needed the cash for satellite TV are examples of excuses benefit fraud investigators have heard over the last year.

One claimant - using a fake ID - said her skin colour had changed after a road accident, one man blamed his evil twin, while another claimed she was not in a relationship but just had a three-night stand resulting in three children over five years.
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The excuses are revealed as the Government announces a new campaign starting this autumn to target benefit fraudsters - encouraging claimants to come clean about changes to their circumstances and urging the public to call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline.

The man from Worcester who tried to convince officials that his wife was his sister still did not stop pretending even when investigators held up their wedding certificate, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said.
"That was a drunken mistake," he said, when proof of his marriage was presented to him.

A claimant in West Lothian tried to explain her reason for falsely claiming: "I needed the money to pay for TV in each of the five bedrooms, as the kids have ADHT, and I have to keep them in."

She failed to mention the children no longer lived with her.

In an identity fraud trial, the alleged fraudster from London claimed she was a white female depicted in photos even though her skin colour was black and suggesting her face had changed shape following a car crash.

A claimant from Glasgow told officials they had confused him with his "evil twin brother", but was found to have passports in his own name and in the identity of his "twin".

Both passports listed all his own children.

Protesting his innocence, he said: "You have me confused with my evil twin brother. He lives in Pakistan and visits the UK regularly.

"My brother has children born on the same dates with the same names."

In Liverpool, a claimant insisted that she did not have a relationship with a man who stayed most nights in a week.

When it was pointed out that they had three children together in a five-year period, she said: "We're all entitled to a one night stand aren't we?"

She was again reminded that there are three children.

She said: "Well a three-night stand then".

David Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform, said: "Hardworking taxpayers lost an outrageous £1.2 billion in benefit fraud last year.

"Our investigators are stepping up and taking advantage of the latest technology so fraudsters can be identified, traced and caught.

"The minority of claimants attempting to siphon off benefit cash need to know our teams are cracking down on them and bare-faced lies are frankly transparent in the face of the evidence.

"Universal Credit will close the gaps in the welfare state that cynical benefit cheats try to take advantage of. The new benefit will reduce fraud by £200m a year when rolled out fully. "

Richard West, DWP head of fraud investigations, said: "We are used to fraudsters telling tall tales to hide their crimes.

"When faced with the evidence, most people hold their hands up and admit what they've done. But some people refuse to admit they have been caught stealing.

"Some people will keep on trying to lie as a way out - even to the point of ridiculousness. They usually just end up digging themselves deeper into a hole."

The Government campaign will target districts and streets of high suspected fraud with investigators' work backed up by local advertising and letters direct to claimants, aiming to catch benefit cheats.

Claimants ill be reminded to report all changes in their circumstances when they happen, and before the investigators turn their attention to their claim.

Teams are now going through claims to spot suspicious activity and double checking claims against records held inside and outside Government.

© 2013 Press Association

16 PHOTOS
HMRC's biggest tax cheats of 2012
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Benefits cheat blamed 'evil twin'

Jailed for evading over £4.5 million in VAT due on platinum trading.

Jailed for evading over £4.5 million in VAT due on platinum trading.

A gang which described over 20 million smuggled cigarettes on shipping documents as babies’ toys was jailed after a covert surveillance operation.

Sentenced in 2012: Phillip William Robinson, Vincent Waller, Phillip William Hall, Christopher John Burns and Andrius Kochanauskas – 13 years 1 month

A gang which described over 20 million smuggled cigarettes on shipping documents as babies’ toys was jailed after a covert surveillance operation.

Sentencing: Paul O’Meara, Robert Doran, Patrick Gray, Martin Cleland, Mark Sadgrove, Wayne Stock and Matthew Neale – 24 years 6 months

A gang which described over 20 million smuggled cigarettes on shipping documents as babies’ toys was jailed after a covert surveillance operation.

Sentencing: Paul O’Meara, Robert Doran, Patrick Gray, Martin Cleland, Mark Sadgrove, Wayne Stock and Matthew Neale – 24 years 6 months

Part of a criminal gang which set up a factory capable of making up to 625 million counterfeit cigarettes and five million pouches of fake hand rolling tobacco a year.

Part of a criminal gang which set up a factory capable of making up to 625 million counterfeit cigarettes and five million pouches of fake hand rolling tobacco a year.

Part of a criminal gang which set up a factory capable of making up to 625 million counterfeit cigarettes and five million pouches of fake hand rolling tobacco a year.

The gang set up a chain of bogus companies to trade fraudulently in EU emissions allowances.

Sentenced in 2012: Sandeep Singh Dosanjh, Navdeep Singh Gill and Ranjot Singh Chahal – 35 years

The gang set up a chain of bogus companies to trade fraudulently in EU emissions allowances.

Sentenced in 2012: Sandeep Singh Dosanjh, Navdeep Singh Gill and Ranjot Singh Chahal – 35 years

Roy Faichney, Managing Director of Vantis Tax Ltd, was sentenced to four years for his part in a fraudulent tax avoidance scheme which left charities and Exchequer out of pocket.

The gang claimed to have sold four million mobile phones worth £1.7 billion. However, in many cases the phones did not exist. In an attempt to make the trade appear legitimate, over 5,700 fake business transactions were created to claim large amounts of VAT.

Sentenced in 2012: Lee Sellers, Mehmood Khan Nazir, Umar Khan Nazir and Marshall Boston – 10 years 6 months

The gang claimed to have sold four million mobile phones worth £1.7 billion. However, in many cases the phones did not exist. In an attempt to make the trade appear legitimate, over 5,700 fake business transactions were created to claim large amounts of VAT.

Sentenced in 2012: Lee Sellers, Mehmood Khan Nazir, Umar Khan Nazir and Marshall Boston – 10 years 6 months

HMRC

The gang claimed to have sold four million mobile phones worth £1.7 billion. However, in many cases the phones did not exist. In an attempt to make the trade appear legitimate, over 5,700 fake business transactions were created to claim large amounts of VAT.

Sentenced in 2012: Lee Sellers, Mehmood Khan Nazir, Umar Khan Nazir and Marshall Boston – 10 years 6 monthsgang claimed to have sold four million mobile phones worth £1.7 billion. However, in many cases the phones did not exist. In an attempt to make the trade appear legitimate, over 5,700 fake business transactions were created to claim large amounts of VAT.

Sentenced in 2012: Lee Sellers, Mehmood Khan Nazir, Umar Khan Nazir and Marshall Boston – 10 years 6 monthse gang claimed to have sold four million mobile phones worth £1.7 billion. However, in many cases the phones did not exist. In an attempt to make the trade appear legitimate, over 5,700 fake business transactions were created to claim large amounts of VAT.

Sentenced in 2012: Lee Sellers, Mehmood Khan Nazir, Umar Khan Nazir and Marshall Boston – 10 years 6 months

Sentenced in 2012: Lee Sellers, Mehmood Khan Nazir, Umar Khan Nazir and Marshall Boston – 10 years 6 months

A criminal gang has been jailed for one of the biggest ever alcohol smuggling frauds ever uncovered in the UK. The scam was worth £50m a year in unpaid duty and VAT.

Sentenced in 2012: Kevin Ramon Burrage, Gary Dennis Clarke, Michael Brian Turner and Davinder Singh Dhaliwal – 21 years 3 months

A criminal gang has been jailed for one of the biggest ever alcohol smuggling frauds ever uncovered in the UK. The scam was worth £50m a year in unpaid duty and VAT.

Sentenced in 2012: Kevin Ramon Burrage, Gary Dennis Clarke, Michael Brian Turner and Davinder Singh Dhaliwal – 21 years 3 months

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