Scrounging benefit fraudsters

Some people really do make me sick! Especially those who make fraudulent claims for benefits when there are other people out there who genuinely need them. I was watching a program about benefit fraud and was disgusted by the following case.

A married couple, Williams, had used the identity of 19 dead children plus another 181 false identities to claim benefits. Meaning that since 1992 they had claimed benefits under 200 different identifies and had received a staggering £1.7 million in total.

The wife had originally claimed for Income Support, claiming she was a single parent with five children, however, she had not been receiving child benefit which struck the DWP as unusual. After a further number of issues were raised about the claim, the investigators started to find a pattern in the way the claims were being made.

The couple were making claims using the identities of children, who had died 20-30 years ago, they would then get the death record of the child and using the child’s details, would get a copy of the birth certificate in order to carry out their claims.

The couple were eventually found to be foreign and when investigators started tracking their movements, they found that the couple were only in the country for a couple of months at a time. Once the investigation was complete the couple were arrested for fraud.

At the trial the court heard of the alarming amount of benefits these people had managed to fraud over the years and the results were as follows:

  • Income Support: £118,000
  • Housing Benefit: £218,500
  • Tax Credits: £838,000

That’s a grand total of £1.74 million! The wife was sentenced to four and a half years imprisonment and the husband was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment.

Personally, I would have just sentenced them to death because what is a measly prison sentence going to achieve? It will just mean that when they get out they will have a criminal record, therefore will be unemployable and will have to genuinely claim benefits which is what they wanted all along so it doesn’t really define a punishment does it? Sentencing them to death, however, just means that the tax payer has two less people to keep. Now that is what I call justice.

There was also another case which really got me annoyed. This time it was a woman, Davis, who had claimed over £20,000 in Disability Living Allowance (DLA) while she had been working as a full-time cleaner for three cleaning companies, one of which was Liverpool Crown Court, where her trial took place. Again she was investigated  and actually turned up to the investigation interview in a wheelchair!

However, she already had one previous benefit fraud conviction and had also used a false name to claim the benefits. The court sentenced her to eight months in prison and was ordered to pay back the full £21,752 she had received.

But was that really justice? A small prison sentence for the people of the above cases hardly seems punishment for the amount of money they scammed off the tax payers.

The second case, Davis, is the one that makes my blood boil the most. There are people out there who genuinely have disabilities and who can’t claim for DLA due to the strict rules and eligibility criteria, so it really makes me wonder how someone is able to commit fraud on such a grand scale. Surely she had a medical assessment carried out? Had they not spotted her lack of disability then? Or had she fooled them with the wheelchair trick and a few moans, groans and cried of pain? It is disgraceful how many people can get away with not being spotted straight away and it is also worrying that there are so many people in the country who are still going undetected.

Benefit thieves always get caught out and it is only a matter of time before they catch the next benefit culprit.

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