Pensioner hid £thousands in savings while claiming benefits
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Legal
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A pensioner has been given a suspended prison sentence after it was discovered he had concealed a fortune of £130,000 while claiming benefits for eight years.
A Haringey Council investigation found that Ahmed Khan, 73, of Wood Green, failed to tell the council and the Department for Work and Pensions of his savings stash when applying for council tax benefit and pension credit in 2005.
He went on to falsely claim more than £20,000 until investigators from both organisations quizzed him about the savings in June last year, when they found several bank accounts linked to his name.
When questioned, Khan claimed he’d "earmarked" the money to pay for education for his children but admitted he should have declared it when claiming for benefits.
At Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court last month, Khan was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, after pleading guilty to two charges of dishonestly making a false declaration.
He was also fined £2,000 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £100 and costs of £85. The council and the DWP will now seek to recover the illegally claimed benefits.
Councillor Joe Goldberg, cabinet member for finance, said: "We won’t let the benefits system be abused by those hiding huge stockpiles of cash in their bank accounts.
"Benefits are rightly there for those who need them and we’ll continue to clamp down on those who cheat the system to protect the vast majority of families who claim lawfully."