Benefit fraud can include offences relating to the payment of benefits by the Department of Work and Pensions as well as payments made by local authorities in respect of Housing Benefit and Council Tax.
The principal offences prosecuted are as follows:
- Dishonest representations for obtaining benefit etc Social Security Administration Act 1992 (section 111A)
- False representations for obtaining benefit etc Social Security Administration Act 1992 (section 112)
- Tax Credit fraud Tax Credits Act 2002 (section 35)
- False accounting Theft Act 1968 (section 17)
- Fraud by false representation, fraud by failing to disclose information, fraud by abuse of position Fraud Act 2006 (section 1)
The Crown Prosecution Service now prosecute all benefit fraud matters with the vast majority of offences being dealt with in the Magistrates Court. Only the very serious allegations of Benefit Fraud and those in particular charged with offences involving more than £35,000 end up being dealt with in a Crown Court.
A conviction for benefit fraud is more often than not termed as a conviction for dishonesty which can have a hugely detrimental effect on an individual’s character and future prospects of obtaining employment. Our team of experienced Criminal Lawyers are used to regularly dealing with those charged with the above and similar Benefit related prosecutions.