Property fraudster uses wife as daughter

Property fraudster uses wife as daughter




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An ex-prison officer is facing a jail sentence after fraudulently claiming almost £39,000 in benefits over the last ten years.

64-year-old James Butterworth, of Uttoexeter, Stafford, funded an extravagant lifestyle of property ownership, luxury boats and foreign holidays by claiming incapacity benefit for almost a decade, the Daily Mail reported.

The wealthy magnate, who owned a string of properties and ran a guest house whilst receiving thousands from the state, also claimed that his wife was his daughter to earn an extra £6000 in dependency benefits.

According to prosecutor Daniel White, Butterworth began claiming incapacity allowance after sustaining a back injury at work in the 1980s, but failed to disclose his capital assets and other earnings from the start. During that time, he also remortgaged his Uttoxeter property, the Oldroyd Guest House, for £375,000.

Between April 2002 and April of last year, Butterworth falsely obtained a total of £38,657 from the taxpayer, using some of the cash to buy a 30ft power boat in Spain. 

Admitting to three charges of benefit fraud, Butterworth received a suspended six month jail term and has been ordered to pay £350 in court costs.

William Eaglestone, defending, said that his client: “became carried away with the money adding up in his bank account over the years and he failed to control it”. He added that Butterworth has already repaid the money he owes and is “truly ashamed of what he did”.

Recorder William Roddick concluded: “An aggravating factor is that you used this money to fund a luxurious lifestyle. You had, in a far country, a 30-foot power boat. You have come within a hairsbreadth of going to prison immediately”.

 

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