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Friend been caught defrauding tax credits

(115 Posts)
Adviceinscotland Sat 21-Jul-12 16:10:18

Friend just called me in a right state. Has been sick etc. had a letter from hmrc this morning saying they have found out through credit files that she is not a single parent and has been claiming as one.

She has a month to call them and explain herself.

As far as I know it has gone on for a few years.

My sympathy is very limited but I know how skintight they are and that she has used the money to live not for luxuries.

Just wondering if anyone can give me some idea of what may happen to her.

As far as I can make out we are talking thousands

Adviceinscotland Sat 21-Jul-12 16:10:51

Skint not skintight!

Olympia2012 Sat 21-Jul-12 16:19:04

She will be made to pay it back! Maybe go to court. Silly winan! And she will be the one in trouble, not the 'partner'!

What's he got to say about all this? Or has he done a runner now?

Olympia2012 Sat 21-Jul-12 16:19:22


NettoSuperstar Sat 21-Jul-12 16:21:48

She could go to court, she'll have to pay it back but it'll likely be a tiny amount a week.
I don't have personal experience btw, but this happened to an acquaintance.

Adviceinscotland Sat 21-Jul-12 16:24:07

She has not told him and says he will leave her if he finds out.

In her defence (the only thing in her defence) is that he had a potentionally fatal illness just after she started this. They did split for a few weeks then get back together and she carried it on and said she was going to start claiming as a couple at the end of the tax year but he got ill and she did not want to make things worse by losing the money hmm

I think it must be about three years actually.

She is threatening suicide if it makes it into the daily mail!!

She has been a prize twat. I'm just wondering if I should get her to speak to citizens advice before calling them or if it's better for her to just phone and admit it all?

TheMonster Sat 21-Jul-12 16:24:45

She's been foolish and will probably have to pay it back. A custodial sentence is a possibility as it has been going on for so long and is therefore a lot of money. She must have known this day would come when she started the theft.

Adviceinscotland Sat 21-Jul-12 16:25:18

Netto, how much did your friend owe?

I think she must be about £25,000 going by how much she says she has been getting a month

Olympia2012 Sat 21-Jul-12 16:25:36

Does he work ? He should help pay it back

Adviceinscotland Sat 21-Jul-12 16:30:04

He works full time but she says he knows nothing about it which I can believe as she controls all the money. The money has been paid into a account in just her name so he has not seen the bank statements.

She is more worried about him finding out than anything else I think.

Adviceinscotland Sat 21-Jul-12 16:32:00

She has just sent me a really weird text.

I hope she does not do anything stupid, there is 3 young kids involved in all this. Going to go round and see her for a bit and see if I can calm her down.

Any advice welcome, will check back later

Adviceinscotland Sat 21-Jul-12 16:33:26

Not sure the best way to approach her though?

Yes you are in a heap of shit so deal with it attitude OR yes you have been a twat now let's get it sorted?

Olympia2012 Sat 21-Jul-12 16:35:09

Offer to go to CAB with her
Offer to help re budget

Adviceinscotland Sat 21-Jul-12 16:36:47

Ironically she has just got herself a job for when the schools go back in sept.

Right I'm away now.

NettoSuperstar Sat 21-Jul-12 16:37:12

£4000, it was Housing Benefit.
Could I just say though, it was an acquaintance. My friends and I are honest!

TheMonster Sat 21-Jul-12 16:46:33

Well she may well not have a job now that she will have this on her record.

Adviceinscotland Sat 21-Jul-12 17:47:10

I am actually worried about her now.

Her new job is going to be self-employment which obviously won't happen if she has a record. Her dh is also due to leave the country for 7 months soon, what if she did go to prison? Would her dc go into care?

Adviceinscotland Sat 21-Jul-12 17:48:12

She was physically sick while I was there. Am actually concerned for her.

Dprince Sat 21-Jul-12 17:51:42

I don't mean to be rude, but what did she expect. She has been stealing benefits.
I would advise her to be honest.

msrantsalot Sat 21-Jul-12 17:53:53

had a small amount to pay back because I didnt call them and tell them the days the afterschool shut due to not enough people, they had to have a maximum of 8 and some days there were not enough. I had to pay back about £300 and they just cut my tax credits I was due until they had recouped the money. By £25k I reckon that's actual fraud but if they have a way of recouping the money they will do that, either by them paying it or by taking away any benefits they have left. I have no idea if she will actually get charged.

Adviceinscotland Sat 21-Jul-12 17:54:01

I think the same, like I said in op I have very limited sympathy.

It's not nice seeing someone so upset though. It's how this will effect the dc that is concerning me.

Adviceinscotland Sat 21-Jul-12 17:58:20

The 25k is the figure I came up with, she says she has been getting about £800 a month for about 34 months then £1000 the last two months (WOW) the first 14 months they were not together but his bank etc was still registered and that house so no way of proving it now itswim. I have no idea of how much they would have been entitled to had they been together so really I just made the 25k up blush

Adviceinscotland Sat 21-Jul-12 18:02:11

It's 4 weekly you get paid tc though I'm sure not monthly so it might be even more

Olympicnmix Sat 21-Jul-12 18:04:21

That's a lot. I'm also surprised they didn't find out earlier.

My CTC/WTC has just been stopped as apparently exH and I are still living as if married! It's because he's still on the mortgage and still named as parent on the nursery documentation (well he still is, but they need to make it clearer) although everything else is in my name. They did the same last year and I sent them my solicitor's letters showing we were getting divorced and his rental agreement. Now they've done it again, but apparently this is a different department who doesn't talk to the other department.

FushiaFernica Sat 21-Jul-12 18:13:09

Her best course of action is for her to contact HMRC asap and confess everything. They will be able to check anyway. I do feel sorry for your friend, what a mess, do what you can to support her.

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