September 2 2014 Latest news:
by Flora Drury
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
A man who pocketed more than £106,000 in housing benefit despite owning a £250,000 home has been jailed for fraud for the second time in 14 years.
Patrick Allen received housing benefit for properties in Islington and Hornsey over a 10-year period – during which time he splashed out on the £250,000 house in Lincoln Road, Enfield, and accumulated more than £48,000 in savings.
The 39-year-old began falsely claiming housing benefit for a flat in Cumming Street, Islington, shortly after being released from prison – where he had been serving a four-year sentence for fraud – in 2002.
He received more than £75,000 from Islington Council before telling housing officers he had moved to Nelson Road, Hornsey, in November 2009, where he once again began claiming housing benefit for the property.
In fact, within days of his claim, Allen purchased his Enfield home.
Over the next two-and-a-half years, he would receive £22,200 from Haringey Council, as well as £8,300 in employment support allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions.
Allen told Wood Green Crown Court the savings and house belonged to his brother, but his claim was rejected by jurors.
On Tuesday, February 18, Allen 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 authorities will now seek to recover the illegally-claimed cash.
Cllr Joe Goldberg, Haringey’s 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.”
He added: “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.”