Benefits cheat claimed employment support allowance despite having £250,000 in his bank

A benefits cheat illegally claimed £30,000 despite having a quarter of a million pounds in his bank account.

Monday, 4th March 2019, 1:38 pm
Updated Monday, 4th March 2019, 2:42 pm
Leeds Combined Court Centre

Trevor Burfitt lied to authorities for four years in order to obtain employment support allowance.

Leeds Crown Court heard the 64-year-old failed to declare he had over £250,000 in bank accounts between 2013 and 2017.

James Gelsthorpe, prosecuting, said Burfitt had received an inheritance which he had invested.

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He was not entitled to claim benefits due to the amount he had in the accounts.

When interviewed about the offences Burfitt admitted he had failed to declare the full extent of his wealth.

He said he intended to use the money to pay for a hip operation.

Burfitt, of Normanton View, Normanton, pleaded guilty to three offences of fraud.

Probation officer Malcolm Brown told the court Burfitt had not worked since 1991 due to a chronic back injury.

Mr Brown said: “He is terrified of going to prison today.”

The court heard Burfitt would not be fit enough to carry out unpaid work.

Soheil Khan, mitigating, said Burfitt had repaid the £30,000 he had illegally obtained.

Mr Khan said Burfitt pleaded guilty to the offences at an early stage.

Burfitt was given a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

Recorder Taryn Turner said: “This was fraudulent from the outset.”

Burfitt was also ordered to pay £1,200 court costs, to be paid within 28 days.

Burfitt said from the dock: “Can I pay this money online, your honour?”

The defendant added: “You won’t see me in here again your honour.”