Serial benefit crook gets second jail spell
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing, Legal
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A serial benefit crook has been jailed for a second time following his latest criminal plot.
Patrick Allen claimed housing benefit for properties in Hornsey and Islington for 10 years despite buying a £250,000 home in Enfield and holding more than £48,000 in savings.
Allen, 39, was previously jailed for nearly four years for fraud in 2000, but soon returned to his criminal ways on release by fraudulently claiming housing benefit for a flat in Islington where he did not have a genuine tenancy.
The crook received more than £75,000 from Islington Council before telling housing officers he had moved to Nelson Road, Hornsey in November 2009, where he continued to claim benefits.
Within days of setting up his claim, the fraudster purchased his home in Enfield and was thus not entitled to £22,200 he received from the council and £8,300 in employment support allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions over the next two and a half years.
Allen told Wood Green Crown Court that his savings and his house belonged to his brother, a claim that was rejected by jurors.
Last week, the villain was sentenced to three and a half years in prison after being found guilty of four counts of dishonestly making a false statement with a view to obtaining benefit and three counts of dishonestly failing to give notification of a change in circumstances.
The council and the DWP will now seek to recover the stolen money, which totals over £106,000.
Councillor Joe Goldberg, cabinet member for finance, said: "Claiming thousands of pounds in benefits while splashing out on houses elsewhere flies in the face of the principles of fairness that underpin our welfare system.
"Benefits are rightly there for those who need them, and we will always investigate when we suspect people are flouting the rules for personal gain."