Maesteg man jailed for benefit fraud

By AJ Sicluna in Crime

Over the course of four years, a Maesteg man dishonestly obtained benefits of more than £12,800, it was stated at Cardiff Crown Court.

But throughout that period, 36-year-old Marc Waters had savings that varied between £6,000 and £30,026, said prosecutor Stuart McLeese.

Waters, of Bethania Street, Maesteg, was jailed for 12 months and ordered to pay costs of £340.

Said Recorder Timothy Brennan:?“Your claim was fraudulent from the outset and it was over a long period of time.”

Waters had been convicted by Cardiff Magistrates of making a false statement to obtain benefits and failing to inform the authorities of his change of circumstances.

Mr McLeese said that £9,700 remained outstanding.

He said Waters had claimed support allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefits between May 2010 and July 2014. The total he dishonestly obtained was £12,854.

Prior to that, said Mr McLeese, he had been claiming incapacity benefit and said he had been unable to work and had no savings.

But he had savings, at one time over £30,000 which he had not declared.

When interviewed by the authorities, he said he “didn’t pay attention to important stuff” and had “taken his eye off his savings.”

He later said he realised the importance of declaring his entire position.

The Recorder said he had received in the past a suspended prison sentence for 12 months for Trading Standards offences.

His solicitor, Vince Williams, said?: “It is unfortunate that these matters were not dealt with at the time of the Trading Standards offences. He has written to the court a letter of apology and has expressed complete remorse.”

Mr Williams said that Waters had operated by “moving his money around”.

He added: “It is highly unlikely you will see him before a court again. I cannot argue that the offences do not cross the custody threshhold.”

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