Benefits Cheat who stole nearly £23k avoids Prison

Wednesday, 26th March 2014

A Dordon man that stole nearly £23,000 in wrongly claimed benefits has escaped a custodial sentence.

Eric Thompson from Church Rd, Dordon told North Warwickshire Borough Council (NWBC) and the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) that he was unable to work.

He began receiving benefits in 2009 but a joint investigation by fraud officers into his claims confirmed this was not the case. In fact,  he had fraudulently claimed a total of £22,693.32 in benefits, to which he was not entitled.

Mr Thompson had started work at Lynx Express on 12th April 2010 and also started working for  Flex recruitment from 22nd April 2012. He made false statements to the authorities and failed to tell them about his earnings.

Mr Thompson was interviewed under caution on 4th April 2013 when he admitted that he had acted dishonestly, made false statements  and realised he should have notified the departments of his change of circumstances. He regretted his actions which were driven by his personal circumstances at that time.

Mr Thompson was overpaid £10,216.39 in Housing & Council Tax Benefits claimed from North Warwickshire Borough Council and £12,476.93 in Employment Support Allowance and Jobseekers Allowance from the DWP.

He entered a guilty plea in court on 5th March 2014, was given a 12 month suspended sentence and ordered to pay back the overpayment together with £100 court costs.