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DWP worker jailed for fraudulent Universal Credit claims

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A man who worked for the Department of Work and Pensions has been jailed for stealing £12,000 in Universal Credit payments.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that Stuart Robertson, 34, of Ripon Street in Preston, fraudulently claimed £12,000 in Universal Credit from May 2019 to July 2019.

Robertson was a Universal Credit Service Centre Telephony Agent based at Preston Service Centre and had started work there in January 2019.

His duties involved dealing with new claims and changes to Universal Credit claims on behalf of Universal Credit claimants.

While there, he made multiple claims to Universal Credit himself to take advantage of the facility to obtain an advance.

On the forms, he claimed to be responsible for three children and without full-time work. In fact he was a single man, with no dependent children, living in private rented accommodation.

He arranged for nine payments to be paid into the same bank account as his monthly salary.

He was arrested at work on 31 July 2019 and gave no comment when shown the audit trail of fraudulent payments.

On 3 December 2020 at Preston Magistrates' Court, he pleaded guilty to nine counts of Fraud by Abuse of Position and on 1 February 2021 at Preston Crown Court he was jailed for ten months.

Senior Crown Prosecutor Rob Girvan of CPS Mersey-Cheshire’s Fraud Unit said: “Stuart Robertson never explained why he began on this scheme to defraud the taxpayer of thousands of pounds.

“He had a job and no dependents and doesn’t appear to have been struggling financially.

“Yet he abused the position of trust he held at the Department of Work and Pensions to steal money that is badly needed elsewhere.

“His audacity included arranging for the money to be paid into the same account that his DWP wages were paid into.

“He was arrested at his place of work, is now behind bars and his reputation and career are in ruins. He has only himself to blame.”

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