Benefits cheat swindled £14,000 while partner had £37k job

Photo Ian Robinson'Preston landmarks'Preston Crown Court
Photo Ian Robinson'Preston landmarks'Preston Crown Court
  • Claimed that partner was also unemployed
  • Lied about her £37k-a-year job at Boots
  • Handed five-month suspended jail term

A BENEFITS cheat swindled £14,000 of income support while his partner was bringing in a £37,000 salary.

Razwan Iqbal, 35, of Hareford Grove, Buckshaw Village, first made a claim for the benefit in 2008 when he was unable to work through illness, and declared his partner was working at Boots the chemist.

The following year Iqbal was declared fit to work and returned to employment until August 2009 when he again applied for income support.

However on this occasion he did not tell the authorities about his partner’s work – going on to make a declaration the information he had submitted was true to the best of his knowledge.

He went on to claim income support on this basis for 14 months while his partner continued to work.

In November 2010, he applied for Employment Support Allowance – again omitting his partner’s income from the claim form. He did the same in September 2012 after a brief period in employment – falsely adding that his partner was looking for a job.

When he was quizzed about his false claims, Iqbal told the investigating officer he was a law graduate and said one of the forms had been filled in by his brother and handed to him to sign.

He said he did not think he had to declare his partner’s income as she did not give him any money.

Recorder Trevor Grice, sentencing, said: “Over these three offences you applied for benefits. You dishonestly said your partner was looking for work when in fact she was in very well paid employment with Boots. Whether or not she gave you some, or indeed all of her wages, is irrelevant.”

Iqbal pleaded guilty of making a false claim to fraudulently obtain benefits.

He was handed a five month sentence suspended for a year and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.