Part guilty plea on part of a fraud overpayment.

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  • #38861
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I have been to a Tribunal hearing today which was regarding an overpayment caused by LTAHAW which is for a period from Jan 2009 to September 2010. Following an investigation we deemed undeclared partner had been resident the whole period, however the claimant, at a magistrates hearing some months ago, pleaded guilty to part of the overpayment 3 weeks here, 2 weeks there, 8 weeks another time etc greatly reducing the overpayment. This plea was agreed between her barrister and ours.

    We are still trying to recover the whole overpayment from the claimant. Can we do this after accepting her part guilty plea? Apparently nothing further was discussed with regards to the remainng overpayment and the claimant states she as under the impression the matter is closed. The Judge seemed to give the impression that it is possible the matter is closed if nothing about the rest of the overpayment was discussed or if the claimant was given the impression that by making a guilty plea meant an end to the matter. We are not taking any further prosecution action against her for the remaining periods.

    The Judge has adjourned for me and the claimant to obtain information from our barristers on our respective positions with regards to the plea.

    There is, in my opinion, overwhelming evidence to support the allegation of LT for the whole overpayment.

    Any advice / opinions / help would be very much appreciated.
    Thank you

    #109969
    Kevin D
    Participant

    In my view, nothing in the criminal court is binding on a FtT; whether plea bargaining, conviction, basis of sentencing. In fact, plea bargaining has been expressly criticised as having no place in social security jurisdiction and there is no basis for analogy with criminal pleadings – CSDLA/0606/2003 (para 14).

    In short, only the evidence from the criminal proceedings should be taken into account (including any statements made by the clmt).

    The FtT should determine the appeal on a) the grounds raised by the clmt and b) any other matters the FtT considers relevant to the extent they are relevant AND which the parties are made aware.

    There is nothing to stop the LA arguing at Tribunal that the o/p stands for the WHOLE period, irrespective of any plea bargain at the criminal Court. On the flip side, there is nothing to stop the clmt appealing against the o/p for that same whole period.

    #109971
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Thank you so much for that Kevin. I greatly appreciate it. I shall carry on with our case against her for the full overpayment.
    Thank you again.

    #109973
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Remember the burden of proof is lower for the Tribunal, so just because some of the criminal charges have been withdrawn doesn’t mean the civil overpayment is negated in any way

    #109989
    Kevin D
    Participant

    A couple of CDs that my be of interest are:

    R(S ) 2/80
    http://www.rightsnet.org.uk/pdfs/rs/2_80.pdf

    R(S ) 10/79
    If you’d like a copy, pm your email addy to me.

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