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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70512
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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i am being investigated for benefit fraud.i have been overpaid

Resolved Question:

i am being investigated for benefit fraud.i have been overpaid housing benefit of 2000 pounds,but ive been paying this back since august this year also I owe council tax again ive been paying this back since august.i cannot understand why I have to go for an interview ive explained by letter what has happened ie my father is ill divorce in the family problems at home with my son ,it all got on top of me and I just didn't inform my local council of changes.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I know ive done wrong in not letting the council know about my earnings but it was a genuine mistake on my part. As I have been paying back what I owe I don't understand why I have to go to this interview and be interviewed under caution. I an extremely worried what could happen to me. I was led to believe as I had made an arrangement to pay the money back that was the end of the matter.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.
So what is your question about this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

basically what will happen to me.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
How did the overpayment come about ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I didn't inform council of my wage earnings I just left it go because of what has been happening in my life,i just saw the amount of benefit in letter that I would receive and put it away in a drawer I didn't read rest of letter. I wrote to the council and explained circumstances apologised saying I would pay money back made a financial arrangement with them and thought that would be the end of the matter.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
What were the benefits please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

housing benefit and owe council tax because of this too which im also paying back

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Do you have any previous convictions?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

no none whatsoever.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

no

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
ok. Thanks.
I just need about 20 mins to dicate an answer if that is OK.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

that's fine thankyou

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes thankyou

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.
This is a low overpayment and you have no relevant previous convictions. They might well just allow you to repay the overpayment without any further consequences. Certainly a few years ago they would have done so.
However, they are generally under pressure to prosecute more benefit fraud so there is a risk they could summons you. You don't have a defence on the face of it but it is not a very serious instance of the offence so it would probably lead to a fine or a conditional discharge.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
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