A WINDOW cleaner has admitted a £10,000 benefits scam.
Flintshire Magistrates Court was told Gerard Lewis, 54, claimed housing and council tax benefit while earning up to £328 a week.
He claimed when challenged that he believed the Jobcentre would have told Flintshire Council officials about his earnings.
Lewis, of Llys John Dafis, Denbigh Road, Mold, admitted failing to inform the local authority of a change of circumstances, that he was working. He was fined £250 with £326 costs.
Lewis told the Mold court he had been told by a man at the Jobcentre that his benefits would stop automatically when he started working.
The court heard Lewis claimed housing and council tax benefit since 2008 based on his entitlement to Job Seekers Allowance and a private pension.
But last August information was received that he was working as a window cleaner for Lewis Glass, which was owned by a family member.
He failed to respond to requests for information but details of his wages were later obtained from his employer.
His benefits were reassessed, he was found to be no longer entitled to them and they were cancelled.
Interviewed, he confirmed he had signed a declaration to say his circumstances had not changed.
He had been working at Lewis Glass since May 2009 but said he thought the Jobcentre would automatically inform the council.
But prosecutor Bryony Tomlinson said he had properly notified changes in the past.
She said it was an aggravating feature that he did not pay his full rent – only the £10 top-up which housing benefit did not cover.
Interviewed, Lewis was unable to say what he had spent the money on.
He said he “had a job living as it was” and that he always found something to spend it on.
Magistrates were told he had been overpaid housing benefit of £9,139 and council tax benefit of £1,677 between May 2009 and July 2012.
The court heard it was believed Lewis might have been confused about his benefits and had not fully appreciated the council and the DWP paid different benefits.