A FATHER who won the lottery gave his son some of his winnings to help him buy a house.
But the son, who was claiming income support, failed to tell the Department for Works and Pensions about his good fortune.
Over three-and-a-half years Ian Andrew Jones, 40, of Chevron’s Road, Shotton, claimed just over £12,500 in benefits he was not entitled to., Mold Crown Court was told yesterday.
Frances Willmott, prosecuting, said A Proceeds of Crime Act application would be made for the overpayment to be recovered, probably through the sale of his unmortaged house which was valued at £78,000.
Miss Willmott said Jones was legally entitled to claim the income support but he was also obliged to notify the agency about any capital he may have.
“Mr Jones received a number of substantial payments into his bank account,” she said.
“In July 2008 he received a payment of £5,000, in October 2009 another £5,000 and in February 2011, two payments totalling nearly £15,000 which would have reduced or extinguished his claim for income support. He was overpaid £12,507 over the period from 2008 to 2012,” she said. With what he had since repaid he still owed £12,157.
Oliver King, defending, said: “From the outset he was genuinely entitled to claim income support.
“His father won the lottery and gave him some money which was paid into his account to allow him to purchase a house mortgage-free.
“He has always maintained not telling the benefits agency was inadvertent and not a deliberate attempt to deceive. It was a reckless act.”
Judge Philip Hughes, who was told Jones had been unemployed for four years and struggled with his literacy, told him he was “effectively stealing from your fellow citizens”.
“Over a period of three-and-a-half years you have received an overpayment of £12,507.50.
“During that period your father was lucky enough to win the lottery and kindly gave you some money to buy a house. That should have been declared.
“This kind of offending attacks funds which are in great demand. There is a shortage of public funds.”
Jones must complete 240 hours unpaid community work and serve a 12 month community order . He must also attend a future training skills course.
The judge also imposed a confiscation order so the remaining £12,157.50 in overpaid benefits would be repaid within six months.
Jones was ordered to pay £350 costs and he was warned he would have to serve eight months in jail if the full compensation is not paid in six months.