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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11033
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am trying persuade someone I care about to own up to benefit

Customer Question

I am trying persuade someone I care about to own up to benefit fraud i just found out about. Amount is £15,000 over 3 and a 1/2yrs. Comprises of child tax credit and working credit they still claimed after their spouse left and they got divorced. Should I tell them to get on the phone, own up and pay full amount + interest back (I understand the person may have enough money to do this). The person has no criminal convictions. I am trying to persuade them to the right path, it would be a disaster to have to go to court for them as they have a job and do have children to support.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
Sorry for the delay in responding. I am. Scots solicitor. I wanted to speak to my criminal law consultant before responding to you.
The position is that if the person has the funds to pay back the state for the overpayments then they should do so and explain that they were affected by the separation and divorce and the issue was never really considered.
The repayment will go far towards avoiding a prosecution although no one can guarantee that they won't prosecute. It is just far less likely that they will where the person has been honest and has repaid the money as opposed to it being discovered at a later stage.
The fact that there is no criminal record is also relevant to a decision to prosecute or not.
Happy to discuss further.
I hope this helps. Please remember to leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.