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By Carl Jackson Thursday 05 December 2013 Updated: 10/12 09:49
A COMPANY boss who claimed he was unemployed has been ordered to pay back more than £16,000 after pleading guilty to dishonestly submitting false claims.
David Young had forged financial documents and had been unlawfully receiving jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit despite being the director of his own company.
The 45-year-old from Pear Tree Way, in Wychbold, was handed a 12-week suspended prison sentence at Worcester Magistrates Court and was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
Young also had to pay £1,315 in court costs as well as the £16,856.92 he had wrongly claimed from the state.
He was in receipt of the benefits between July 2009 and July 2010 stating he was unemployed until an investigator discovered Young actually had his own firm.
At that point he stopped claiming JSA but carried on receiving housing benefit and council tax benefit, failing to disclose the true level of his income.
In mitigation the court heard Young lost his FSA (Financial Services Authority) accreditation because of the investigation and could only be an administrator in the business. Consequently he classed himself as an employee rather than a director.
Magistrates also took into account he was a financial adviser when sentencing and an 18-week custodial term was reduced to a 12-week suspended sentence.
Wychavon District Council had worked alongside the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) as well as Bromsgrove District Council to bring forward the joint prosecution.
Nick Jefferies, partnership director of the South Worcestershire partnership, said: “It is important benefits are only paid to those who are entitled to them.
“This was a premeditated case, designed to defraud the taxpayer of money to which he was not entitled.
“This case sends a clear message that if you try to cheat the system when you claim benefits you will get caught.”
Anyone unsure if they are entitled to their benefits has been urged to call Wychavon on 01905 822744.
And anyone who wishes to report a case of benefit fraud can also contact the council at firstname.lastname@example.org and 01386 656280.
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