Pen­sioner faced with selling fam­ily home to pay back frau­dently claimed ben­e­fits

The Oban Times - - News -

A PEN­SIONER is to sell a house he gifted to rel­a­tives to pay back more than £23,000 in fraud­u­lently claimed ben­e­fits.

Charles Wright, of Larch Cot­tage in Stron­tian, told the Depart­ment for Work and Pen­sions (DWP) he only had sav­ings of just over £4,000 and owned no prop­er­ties, de­spite own­ing two houses in Fort Wil­liam which he later sold for £293,000.

This al­lowed the 72-year- old to fraud­u­lently claim ben­e­fits of £24,340.52 be­tween March 2008 and June 2012. He will now sell another prop­erty in Caol, which he had pre­vi­ously given to fam­ily, to re­pay the sum.

Wright ap­peared for sen­tenc­ing at Fort Wil­liam sher­iff court on Tues­day (Septem­ber 15) af­ter plead­ing guilty at a pre­vi­ous hear­ing.

Sher­iff Richard David­son de­ferred sen­tenc­ing un­til Novem­ber 10 to al­low an eval­u­a­tion of the house, thought to be worth around £130,000, but said Wright must pay £ 3,000 be­fore this date.

He said: When you re­turn I want £ 3,000 to be in the hands of a third party and I want to know what is hap­pen­ing in re­la­tion to the sale of the prop­erty.’

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