Potters Bar benefits cheat sentenced

A POTTERS BAR benefits fraudster who conned the system out of nearly �5,000 has been slapped with a 13-week curfew order.

Robert Daniels, 40, of Cranborne Close, was also ordered by magistrates to pay back almost �3,000 of housing benefits after he lied about his employment circumstances.

The cheat had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to failing to report a change in circumstances in relation to claims for jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit.

Hemel Hempstead magistrates heard that in late 2008, Daniels applied for the benefits to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Hertsmere Borough Council, claiming he was not in any form of work.

However, in October 2009 he began work through Blue Arrow as a van driver but failed to declare it.

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Despite the fact Daniels was interviewed under caution in April 2010, where he admitted he knew he should declare his employment status, he still failed to do so.

The court was told Daniels had to wait each day for a call to know whether he was working the next day, and this uncertainty had led him to decide to withhold reporting the change.

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Taking into account his new earnings, a recalculation worked out Daniels has been overpaid �1,093.10 in jobseeker’s allowance, �2,939.53 in housing benefit and �681.18 in council tax benefit.

He was sentenced to a 13-week curfew order, applicable Monday to Saturday 9pm to 6am and Sunday 7pm to 6am.

Daniels was also ordered to pay �50 costs each to the DWP and the council.

Cllr John Graham, portfolio holder for finance, said: “Benefits are calculated according to an individuals needs and therefore it is important that if your circumstances change, you tell us, otherwise you will be cheating the system and in the end it will catch up with you.”

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