Jail for 'parasitic' £90,000 benefits cheat
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Legal
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A man who illegally raked in almost £90,000 in benefits using two passports held in different names has been jailed for two years.
William Anthony swindled taxpayers out of £55,886 in income support and disability living allowance, and £21,721 in housing benefits over a five-year period.
The 59-year-old created a second identity using a fake passport so he could manage his scam.
The crook attempted to take over his elderly mother’s council flat in Kensington and Chelsea when she went into a nursing home.
He claimed he lived with her and submitted fraudulent paperwork as he made every effort to get his hands on his mother’s home.
His deception sparked a joint investigation between Richmond Council and the Department for Work and Pensions in 2011 and he was actually found to be living and falsely claiming benefit for a property in Waverly Avenue, Whitton.
When the evidence led back to the Whitton address the cheat claimed he was homeless.
At Isleworth Crown Court last week, he pleaded guilty to three charges of fraud by false representation, one charge of theft by false representation and one charge of possessing identity documents with intent.
Richmond Council deputy leader Cllr Geoffrey Samuel said: “This man is parasitic, he deserves to serve every second of his prison sentence, and many people will think he should have got longer. His fraud took £90,000 from vulnerable people who are in desperate need of help and he even turned on his own mother. These people need to be stopped and this council will not rest until all the William Anthonys of this world are dealt with swiftly and decisively.
“This prosecution sends a clear message to anyone who dares to commit benefit fraud or is considering such a cowardly act – we will find you, we will stop you, we will prosecute you, and we will do everything in our power to see that you receive an adequate penalty.”