What is Conspiracy to Defraud
A Conspiracy to Defraud offence is committed when two or more people make an agreement to do something ‘dishonest’, which then has the effect of depriving another person of something which is lawfully theirs. The offence is committed by the mere planning, even if the person is not deprived of anything.
The Benefit Fraud – Access to Work Scheme
The Access to Work Scheme is a government initiative which helps people with disabilities to enter or stay in work. The scheme offers practical and financial help and even helps people start or improve their business.
The Benefit Fraud occurs and has occurred in the past if wrongful claims are made for assistance by lying on the application forms, by exaggerating the claims or by claiming more money than is needed for the assistance.
Mostly however, the DWP has been interested in Fraudulent Claims which involve false invoices or exaggerated invoices being submitted for assistance. This involves the beneficiary of the assistance agreeing to allow a third-party intermediary company, to claim for assistance provided to the beneficiary, which in reality was not provided. Money is then split between the company and the beneficiary.
Our Benefit Fraud Solicitors represented a deaf and mute client who was accused of being part of a Conspiracy to Defraud the DWP by submitting forged invoices to the Access to Work scheme. The allegations involved the claim for assistance which was actually never provided and the suggestion was that our client colluded with the company to make such claims – by agreement.
The company was being run by a couple who were also deaf and knew the intricacies of making claims for assistance. The couple were accused of living a lavish lifestyle and claiming for assistance to provide sign language interpreters who were in reality never engaged.
Our defence was the lack of knowledge of the claims being submitted on behalf of our client and the lack of financial incentive or motive for our client to be involved in such an enterprise.
From 15 defendants, our client was the only one to be acquitted following a three month trial at the Southwark Crown Court. Due to our Benefit Fraud Solicitors’ meticulous preparation and careful consideration of over twenty thousand pages of evidence it was ensured that the client’s defence was adeptly presented to the jury and his explanation was accepted.
If you have a similar case with which you need help, please Contact Us and speak to our Benefit Fraud Solicitors for Free and in confidence. We can discuss matters with you initially on the telephone, online by video-call or in person. You can even WhatsApp us for assistance.