Basildon benefit cheat avoids jail after £16,000 scam

Southend Standard: Basildon Crown Court Basildon Crown Court

A BENEFIT cheat who swindled £16,000 out of Basildon Council has avoided being sent to jail.

Mark Franklin, 49, of Audley Way, Basildon, falsely claimed housing and council tax benefit for more than two-and-a-half years.

He failed to tell the Department of Work and Pension about savings he had, or that he was receiving an income.

Franklin appeared at Basildon Crown Court and admitted knowingly failing to notify a change in circumstances between 19 May 2009 and 28 October 2012, which affected his entitlement to benefits.

He also admitted knowingly producing or furnishing information which was false, on 14 October 2010, to obtain benefits.

Franklin was sentenced to a 12- month community order and told he must carry out 140 hours of unpaid work, and pay £2,304 costs.

The judge took into account his previous good character and the remorse he had shown for the crimes.

He also took into account the fact the offences had been committed over a lengthy period of time, telling Franklin he had taken the money from those who were genuinely in need.

After the hearing, Stuart Sullivan, Basildon councillor responsible for resources, said: “Benefit fraud is theft and cheats who try to get away with it are stealing from their neighbours, the residents of Basildon.

“In most cases, benefits are paid to those in genuine need of support.

However, there are an unscrupulous fewwho think they can dishonestly dip into the public purse unnoticed.

“This is not the case. The council’s fraud investigations team use a variety of methods to uncover benefit fraud and will leave no stone unturned.

“Benefit fraud is against the law and cheats will be forced to face the consequences.”

Comments (12)

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9:12am Fri 4 Apr 14

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

Must have been Judge Letemoff again.....
Must have been Judge Letemoff again..... Nowthatsworthknowing
  • Score: 9

9:58am Fri 4 Apr 14

I love Your Mum says...

So he only has to pay back £2000 of the £16000. So his got £14000 in free money. Crime does pay.
So he only has to pay back £2000 of the £16000. So his got £14000 in free money. Crime does pay. I love Your Mum
  • Score: 15

10:06am Fri 4 Apr 14

Vange Resident says...

Sounds like a good way to top up your income if you have no self respect or morals. I guess this is why you read about these things so often, there is no real punishment.
Sounds like a good way to top up your income if you have no self respect or morals. I guess this is why you read about these things so often, there is no real punishment. Vange Resident
  • Score: 12

10:19am Fri 4 Apr 14

ThisYear says...

Benefit scammers are getting more like politicians everyday (see culture minister) stealing large amounts of money while avoiding jail..only difference is the politicians are into the kitty much much more!
Benefit scammers are getting more like politicians everyday (see culture minister) stealing large amounts of money while avoiding jail..only difference is the politicians are into the kitty much much more! ThisYear
  • Score: 6

1:55pm Fri 4 Apr 14

TowerBlockDreams says...

What bugs me about stories like this is people get the false impression that every benefit claimant is on the fiddle, there are many people out there that are genuinely disabled who need help and 1 in 2 unemployed people find a job within 3 months of claiming benefits. Of course I get annoyed about people who could work but choose not to but as someone who works a 62 hour week I really don't mind doing my bit to help, but for people not to pay back every penny they have stolen gets me quite angry.
What bugs me about stories like this is people get the false impression that every benefit claimant is on the fiddle, there are many people out there that are genuinely disabled who need help and 1 in 2 unemployed people find a job within 3 months of claiming benefits. Of course I get annoyed about people who could work but choose not to but as someone who works a 62 hour week I really don't mind doing my bit to help, but for people not to pay back every penny they have stolen gets me quite angry. TowerBlockDreams
  • Score: 5

3:05pm Fri 4 Apr 14

Purple Om 89-91 says...

???!?!?!? I'm 46, I've lived in the Southend-on-sea borough all my life and I've been in full employment and paid national insurance ever since I was 16. I tried to make a claim for jobseekers allowance and was told where to go. I was really struggling and could have done with some help to ease the burden until I got back on my feet.
???!?!?!? I'm 46, I've lived in the Southend-on-sea borough all my life and I've been in full employment and paid national insurance ever since I was 16. I tried to make a claim for jobseekers allowance and was told where to go. I was really struggling and could have done with some help to ease the burden until I got back on my feet. Purple Om 89-91
  • Score: 6

3:06pm Fri 4 Apr 14

Purple Om 89-91 says...

Purple Om 89-91 wrote:
???!?!?!? I'm 46, I've lived in the Southend-on-sea borough all my life and I've been in full employment and paid national insurance ever since I was 16. I tried to make a claim for jobseekers allowance and was told where to go. I was really struggling and could have done with some help to ease the burden until I got back on my feet.
sorry I needed to get that out of my system.
[quote][p][bold]Purple Om 89-91[/bold] wrote: ???!?!?!? I'm 46, I've lived in the Southend-on-sea borough all my life and I've been in full employment and paid national insurance ever since I was 16. I tried to make a claim for jobseekers allowance and was told where to go. I was really struggling and could have done with some help to ease the burden until I got back on my feet.[/p][/quote]sorry I needed to get that out of my system. Purple Om 89-91
  • Score: 7

3:15pm Fri 4 Apr 14

TowerBlockDreams says...

Purple Om 89-91 wrote:
Purple Om 89-91 wrote:
???!?!?!? I'm 46, I've lived in the Southend-on-sea borough all my life and I've been in full employment and paid national insurance ever since I was 16. I tried to make a claim for jobseekers allowance and was told where to go. I was really struggling and could have done with some help to ease the burden until I got back on my feet.
sorry I needed to get that out of my system.
Work hard, play by the rules, save hard, do the right thing - tend to get shafted for that! As I know all too well :-(
[quote][p][bold]Purple Om 89-91[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Purple Om 89-91[/bold] wrote: ???!?!?!? I'm 46, I've lived in the Southend-on-sea borough all my life and I've been in full employment and paid national insurance ever since I was 16. I tried to make a claim for jobseekers allowance and was told where to go. I was really struggling and could have done with some help to ease the burden until I got back on my feet.[/p][/quote]sorry I needed to get that out of my system.[/p][/quote]Work hard, play by the rules, save hard, do the right thing - tend to get shafted for that! As I know all too well :-( TowerBlockDreams
  • Score: 8

3:46pm Fri 4 Apr 14

I love Your Mum says...

TowerBlockDreams wrote:
Purple Om 89-91 wrote:
Purple Om 89-91 wrote:
???!?!?!? I'm 46, I've lived in the Southend-on-sea borough all my life and I've been in full employment and paid national insurance ever since I was 16. I tried to make a claim for jobseekers allowance and was told where to go. I was really struggling and could have done with some help to ease the burden until I got back on my feet.
sorry I needed to get that out of my system.
Work hard, play by the rules, save hard, do the right thing - tend to get shafted for that! As I know all too well :-(
That's why I don't bother working. Easier to just claim benefits and not work. Easy life.
[quote][p][bold]TowerBlockDreams[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Purple Om 89-91[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Purple Om 89-91[/bold] wrote: ???!?!?!? I'm 46, I've lived in the Southend-on-sea borough all my life and I've been in full employment and paid national insurance ever since I was 16. I tried to make a claim for jobseekers allowance and was told where to go. I was really struggling and could have done with some help to ease the burden until I got back on my feet.[/p][/quote]sorry I needed to get that out of my system.[/p][/quote]Work hard, play by the rules, save hard, do the right thing - tend to get shafted for that! As I know all too well :-([/p][/quote]That's why I don't bother working. Easier to just claim benefits and not work. Easy life. I love Your Mum
  • Score: -7

5:30pm Fri 4 Apr 14

Living the La Vida Legra says...

EPIC FAIL ( again ). Why not the whole amount?
EPIC FAIL ( again ). Why not the whole amount? Living the La Vida Legra
  • Score: 5

5:48pm Fri 4 Apr 14

ThisYear says...

Living the La Vida Legra wrote:
EPIC FAIL ( again ). Why not the whole amount?
Bit like the tory minister for culture..scammed over £44,000 and only has to pay back £5,800

Cameroon says this was agreed by the lay committee members when in fact only MPs on the committee could vote on that..lie after lie after lie and yet the tory rabble on here will continue to vote for them...
[quote][p][bold]Living the La Vida Legra[/bold] wrote: EPIC FAIL ( again ). Why not the whole amount?[/p][/quote]Bit like the tory minister for culture..scammed over £44,000 and only has to pay back £5,800 Cameroon says this was agreed by the lay committee members when in fact only MPs on the committee could vote on that..lie after lie after lie and yet the tory rabble on here will continue to vote for them... ThisYear
  • Score: 1

6:57pm Fri 4 Apr 14

the25man says...

Good got another one but must do better
Good got another one but must do better the25man
  • Score: 4

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