I was going about my everyday business when I received the letter, from my local authority, inviting me to an interview under caution. Immediately I began making mistakes, even from the way that I responded to the invitation letter. I began to incriminate myself when I started communicating with the council and Department for Work and Pensions. I was totally unaware of the consequences of my past actions and totally ignorant of the processes, that are being conducted behind the scene, when you are being investigated for benefit fraud. I did not realise that I could have saved myself so much time, anxiety and money, simply by applying a few important steps that can significantly reduce the consequence of an investigation and in some cases have the case dropped altogether. This is the definitive guide to benefit fraud. It was written in 2014 and offers a first-hand account of what happened to me, as well as presenting numerous case studies along with the facts that you absolutely need to know if you want to gain an advantage in every area of your case.
An interview under caution is a formal interview that is conducted under The Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984. The act contains the rules that the interviewers are obliged to comply with during in all processes related to the interview. An interview under caution is recorded with a view to using the transcript of that recording as evidence, in court, should the case be considered for criminal prosecution. For this reason it is absolutely essential that you are fully prepared for this process. Before my interview I gathered as much free advice as I could from the Internet. I was aware that I did not have to attend, I was aware that I could leave the interview at any time and I was aware that I did not have to say anything. I had read what happens at the interview, what happens after the interview, along with the possible outcomes. So why did I mess things up for myself in such a big way? In fact the actions that I took, based upon the information that I had read online, created immediate and significant problems for me; problems that I am going to tell you how to avoid.
So you think your Local Authority or the Department for Work and Pensions just want to clear a few things up, down at the council offices, with a nice little chat about why you are claiming benefits that you are not entitled to? Let me enlighten you: They have done their homework and will not be surprised when you to deny the allegations, most people do. For this reason they are prepared for the interview. I am going to give you a complete list of all of the information that they have on an individual prior to conducting an interview under caution. This is based upon my own personal experience as well has over a year of extensive research on this subject.
Would you like to be a fly on the wall at my interview under caution? I have published a verbatim transcript that covers the key dialogue between myself and the investigators. This reveals exactly what questions they asked, the responses that I gave and the mistakes that I made. It also provides an insight into the intelligence that they had gathered on me.
The reassuring thing is that you always have options. The option that most people take, however, is the wrong option and that is why the number of prosecutions for benefit fraud average around 9,540 per year with conviction rates averaging 7,481. That is an incredible success rate of over 78%. If you are prepared to understand the process and do everything right from the word go, you can significantly reduce your chances of prosecution. Even if you are prosecuted, you can improve your chances of falling into the 22% who are not convicted.
Interesting question isn’t it? Solicitors cost a lot of money and the advice that they give you is not always in your best interest, at least when it comes to saving money. I found this out at my cost. I want to enlighten you on the subject of solicitors and give you an opportunity to gain the best advice whilst reducing your legal costs. Also is a solicitor going to lie for you? In most cases they are not. For this reason I am going to tell you exactly how you need to prepare before approaching a solicitor. Without this vital information you may get representation, but not necessarily the outcome that you hoped for.
If your gross monthly income is over £2,657 you will not be eligible for legal aid. ‘Gross income’ means before tax and national insurance are taken off and it excludes certain social security benefits. If you have disposable capital (savings) of over £8,000, you won’t get legal aid. Also if you own your own home, the equity in the property could be considered as capital and exclude you from the legal aid system. Either way, I am going to tell you what is the best way to gain legal aid and provide you with a wealth of knowledge that you need before applying for legal aid.
I decided against the legal aid route, simply because I became aware of a way to gain adequate legal representation without having to break the bank. I literally saved hundreds of pounds on legal advice and my guide tells you exactly how I did that. This information alone is worth many times more than the cost of this guide.
So if I threw a stick for my dog and that stick is caught by a gust of wind and smashes my neighbour’s window, am I guilty of criminal damage? Or are adverse weather conditions to blame? I’m not a solicitor, but I have learned about the definition of guilt, when it applies and when mitigation can assist your cause.
How do you find the right solicitor? How do you determine their level of experience? More importantly how do you safeguard yourself against bad advice or a disagreement over costs? In short, what is the single most important thing that you need to ensure that you do when dealing with a solicitor? Failing to do this one simple thing makes solicitor disputes almost impossible to win or even walk away from. Before engaging with a solicitor you need to make sure that you have this covered.