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Local Authority Prosecutions (including Benefit Fraud)

A Local Authority has the power to prosecute a number of different offences. We have expertise in this area, and experience of dealing with a range of these cases, for example:

Benefit Fraud (prosecuted under Social Security Administration Act 1992)

This is an offence which can be brought by the Local Authority or the Department for Work and Pensions. Investigations are often instigated from anonymous tip offs, or electronic data matching services between organisations. Individuals can then be required to attend a formal interview under caution, at which the allegation will be explained. Where there has been an overpayment, and the individual admits to wrongdoing, this often results in an administrative penalty, rather than prosecution; perhaps where you have neglected to report a minor change in your circumstances, and where the overpayment can be repaid. This is where we can help to secure the least onerous outcome for you, by making persuasive representations to the right department. We would also advise you prior to the interview, and sit with you during the questioning to ensure the procedure is conducted fairly and properly.

Where a case of benefit fraud leads to prosecution, the consequences can be serious, with a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment in the event of fraudulently obtaining large amounts of money over a long period of time.

We acknowledge that the assessment of benefits is a very complex system, and that your responsibilities and obligations can be very confusing. We aim to protect your rights wherever you may have a defence to the charges, and limit an unnecessary sanction to your finances, or threat to your liberty.

Here are some other types of offence which we can advise you about:

 

  • Housing benefit fraud or council tax benefit fraud
  • Fly tipping
  • Blue badge fraud
  • Social housing fraud
  • Breach of planning notices
  • Noise nuisance
  • Health and Safety offences
  • Prosecutions under the Education Act for your child being absent from school

 

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