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Alex Hughes
Alex Hughes, Solicitor/Partner
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 2414
Experience:  Partner in national law firm with 25 years legal experience
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Type your question here. Can I offer to take an administrative

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Type your question here. Can I offer to take an administrative penalty after i have received a summons for a s112(1)(a) social security and administration act?
Submitted: 11 months ago via InBrief.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Alex Hughes replied 11 months ago.
My name isXXXXX and I'm happy to help with your question today.

How much is the overpayment?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

£3700 although there is an appeal as to the overpayment as it was stated that the overpayment was because we were a couple which i strenuously deny. However the summons issued for court states:


 


that on or about 2nd September 2011 in the county of ........ with a view to obtaining housing benefit made a statement or representation which he knew to be false in that he indicated on the housing benefit application form that the information provided was correct and complete whereas it was not in that he indicated the he rented a room at ............ from .......... the landlord, whereas in fact ........... was not the landlord of that property.

Expert:  Alex Hughes replied 11 months ago.
Good Morning Jeremy

Most authorities have a prosecution policy which follows a national guideline: in short AP's are generally not available where the overpayment exceeds £2,000. This is because the AP is 30% of the overpayment and the general rule is that the claimant should not be over burdened with the financial cost of repaying the OP and AP.

::Formal Cautions or Administrative Penalties are usually offered to persons who fit the following criteria:

::The overpayment is between £0 and £1,999 or the overpayment is £2,000 or over but the claimant has significant ill health where a Prosecution would have a severe impact on their health.

::The person has committed an offence and admitted their guilt (caution only).

::The person is aware of the terms of the Formal Caution or Administrative Penalty.

::The case meets the Public Interest Test and there has been no previous sanction applied to the person for a benefit fraud offence within five years recorded on the Department of Works & Pensions database.

::The Formal Caution or Administrative Penalty is likely to be effective and have a deterrent effect. There was no other person involved in the offence.

::The offence is minor and any court sentence is likely to be small (caution only).

::The claimant has limited income or capital and the imposition of an administrative penalty is likely to cause hardship (caution only).

::Where a claimant has a high level of capital or income and is therefore in a position to pay a penalty.

The local authority seem to be saying the person you were living with was the landlord. Whose details did you give as the landlord? Did you make a false declaration or not?

Alex
Alex Hughes, Solicitor/Partner
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 2414
Experience: Partner in national law firm with 25 years legal experience
Alex Hughes and 3 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Alex Hughes replied 11 months ago.
Thanks. I'm still unclear about the landlord issue. They seem to be saying you've made a false declaration about the landlord. What do you say?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

I say she was my landlord.


 


But all of the evidence the have provided is statements trying to show we were a couple, which is why i am confused???


 


No of the evidence appears to show or intimate that she was not the landlord. she admits to taking £400 per month in rent.

Expert:  Alex Hughes replied 11 months ago.
Were you a couple?

Does she own the property and entitled to receive the rent?

Has the council basically got this completely wrong?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

As i have already said we were NOT a couple although she is saying we were but i strongly deny this!!


 


It appears from the research i have done that the evidence does not relate to the summons?? But was wondering if they were trying to be sneaky in that they are going to say she was not the landlord because she was a partner?? However my understanding is that the summons must be clear in what they summonsing under and is not specific enough for them to suggest that she was not the landlord because she was a partner??


 


can they use the evidence they have supplied in that case as it appears irrelevant to the summons???

Expert:  Alex Hughes replied 11 months ago.
Hi Jeremy

Sounds like a very bizarre situation.

But the bottom line is that if the allegation against you is false then you should plead not guilty.

A s.112 offence is 'summary only' which means it can only stay in the Magistrates Court. You would not be entitled to a trial by Judge and Jury.

The maximum sentence is 6 months imprisonment. But for the amount of OP involved in your case I expect the worst case scenario to be a community order with unpaid work. This is not a serious enough case for prison.

With regards to the summons, the prosecution can amend the particulars. So,if it turns out they have made a mistake with the facts they can supply for an amendment - the Magistrates Courts Act 1980 and the case of Sc**thorpe Justices confirms this.

It appears that you're being prosecuted for making a false statement. If the evidence supports the allegation of making a false statement then the particulars of the summons can be amended. However, if the facts do not support a prosecution under s.112 then you can apply to dismiss the case - but tactically I wouldn't recommend giving the prosecution advance warning of this!

Alex

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