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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I need help. my ex partner has been claiming benefit which

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I need help. my ex partner has been claiming benefit which he is not entitled. I have received some money from him over the last year. Could I be prosecuted for fraud. I did not know
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

From what you say I am almost certain the answer to this will be no but for the avoidance of doubt, you have not supplied any false information to the benefits office to support his claims. Is that correct please?
May I ask if the money was a gift or whether it was to pay you for something - e.g. shopping?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I helped set up his claim in the beginning as he was mentally ill and could not do it. Then he decided to disappear out of the country, when he left he said he would put some money in my account from time to time as he had a new job. I then received a letter from the council at my address. I called the council to remove my address and inform then that he had moved. They then said he would be investigated for fraud. He also gave me his cash card and I have withdrawn money from his account. I am terrified that they will investigate me.

Thank you. If you did not give any information that was false personally to the benefits office then you will not be complicit in any fraud that may have been committed. I assume that the issue here is not necessarily that the original claim was wrong but rather than he may have failed to inform the benefits office of a change in circumstances but whatever the issue, subject as above, the investigation will be against him rather than you. They only circumstances in which you would ned to concern yourself would be if youhave personally supplied false information to the benefits office which I do not think is the case rom what you say.In regards ***** ***** money that he gave you in so far as this was for expenses you incurred whilst he was living with you, this would not be repayable. In respect of any money that was a gift (i.e. was given without any benefit in return to him) then it may be that this could be reclaimed by the benefits office though unless it is a significant sum they may not do so as the cost of attempting recovery can often outweigh the benefit. If you have any of those monies left, it may be sensible to hold on to them rather than spend them in case there is a request to repay some of those monies but as above unless the amount is significant it is questionable whether such a request would follow.I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The money he gave me was for towards my daughter. He has never paid regular money towards her. The money i have received has been spent on my daughter and there is non left, he did not live with me at all. I am also on benefits and did not declare to them he was giving me money as this is the first time in a long time he has paid anything. I did not use any false information in his claim but he failed to inform them of any details. I told them i thought he had left the country but I didnt know when.

Thank you. Based on what you say I do not think it is likely that they would attempt to reclaim the money from you. This would be extremely difficult in practice and could fail in any event as it was given either as a gift or as a contribution towards your expenses. I do not think there is any need for undue worry on your part - I cannot see any basis for a charge of fraud against you personally. They may ask you for information relating to their investigation on your partner such as whehter he ever stayed with you and so on but that would relate to his investigation rather than you personally if they did. They would advise you if they intend to investigate you as well but I cannot see that they would investigate you in relation to your partners alleged fraud.I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So if they phone me again with regards ***** ***** investigation, what should I say? I really want nothing to do with it. Can they force me to do anything? I am the only one on his account that he transfers money to. It dont look good on my behalf. :(

They can't force you to cooperate so you can say you prefer not to be involved. There are two components. Fraud - unless you have given flase information this is not an issue for you. They have to show that you were personally involved in giving flase information to implicate you. From what yous say you were not so you have no concern on this front. Money - if the money was gifted to you as opposed to paid to you for expenses there is the opportunity for the benefits office to attempt to claim some of it back if they make your partner bankrupt. This costs almost £2000 for them to do so they will not do it lightly. If you can show the money was used to pay for expenses which your partner agreed to contribute towards even then they may struggle to reclaim the money. Accordingly I should not worry unduly about this but obviously be cautious about accepting any more money now you know of the circumstances.Have I been able to help you with all your questions on the above?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I also let him use my address when he first opened his account. he never changed the address to his new address. Could this be a problem?

For him perhaps but not you. He is responsible for the information he gives to the benefits office not you unless you gave any personally to the benefits office.Does the above help you with all your questions on the above?
Joshua and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Have I been able to help you with all your questions on the above?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I have received nearly £4000 in the last year. I am still very worried. he may have been claiming for up to a year! This would be a lot of money so I have reason to believe they will investigate me. I am scared

I understand your concern but the position remains that if you have not given them any false information personally you cannot be charged with any benefit fraud. They can of course make enquiries in respect of anyone they wish but they will not have evidence to charge with fraud unless you have given false information personally on your partners behalf.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I helped him set up his claim in the beginning as he was not mentally capable of doing so. I filled in the application form but I did not whatsoever give any false information. Also I have not told the council that I have received money from him or that I have used his bank card. would they be able to say that I was with holding information? Also, if they check his bank records, they will be know his account is being used. He gave me permission to for me to use it. they could say I knew because I could of checked his statements

If you gave no false information then the position is as above. Also presumably your partner signed the form himself and so is responsible for its contents. Generally it is better to cooperate if you are asked to contribute to any investigation, but you do not have to.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

he did sign it himself. do I need a solicitor if they contact me for information?

I see no reason why you need to involve a solicitor at this stage. If they indicate to you that they are also investigating you you may wish to retain a solicitor for futher advice though as above, I cannot see that this is likely to be the case based on what you have said
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I hope so, I have never been so scared. It looks like fraud :( They will say that I knew.. But I truly didnt. I could of looked through his statement but I didnt

I understand it is worrying and the reasons why you are concerned. Remeber though that we are talking about criminal charges here - they have to show beyond reasonable doubt that you were complicit in the fraud in order to involve you. Against them they have that you have not supplied any information to them to assist with the fraud and you contacted them to advise them of changed circumstances - this is not something you would likely do if you were complicit with your partner in a benefit fraud. Proving beyond reasonable doubt is difficult at the best of times, and I cannot see any indication that would be easy to do in these circumstances. However you may wish to consider whether to cooperate with any investigation they make - refusing to do so may create the wrong impression though it would not change the above
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

thank you for your time, i shall message if i need to ask more.

You dont need one but you can consult one at any time you wish. You may be entitled to legal help with fees if you are in receipt of means tested benefits.
You dont need one but you can consult one at any time you wish. You may be entitled to legal help with fees if you are in receipt of means tested benefits.