Benefit cheat is fined after illegally receiving over £13,000

A welfare cheat who illegally received £13,204.32 in illegal over-paid benefits has been fined.

Thursday, 14th September 2017, 10:25 am
Updated Thursday, 14th September 2017, 10:30 am
Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on September 5 how John Stoppard, 71, received pension credit benefit at Mansfield but failed to tell the Department for Work and Pensions he was receiving a second monthly Legal and General pension.

Prosecuting solicitor Sam Matkin said: “He was claiming pension credits which he was not entitled to which led to a £13,204.32 over-payment.

“He had received pension credit since 2011, for himself and this was on the grounds he only had a state pension and an occupational pension from Legal and General and he was paid by automatic credit to his accounts on the basis he had declared all his income.”

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However, Stoppard failed to declare a second occupational, monthly pension from Legal and General from March, 1996, according to Mr Matkin.

Stoppard, of Great North Road, Muskham, Newark, pleaded guilty to making a false statement on or about May 5, 2011, at Mansfield, to obtain benefit by failing to declare the full extent of his pension arrangements to the DWP.

Mr Stoppard said: “I agree with the summary. I am sorry for what I have done and I am willing to pay it back.

“You do things and I just kept thinking I would never get caught and I got caught.”

The probation service explained that Stoppard worked as a miner for 32 years and has health issues including blood pressure problems, headaches and diabetes.

The court heard Stoppard has taken a job to pay back the benefits owed.

Magistrates fined Stoppard £200 and ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.