Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Debz71
    • By Debz71 7th Feb 19, 8:04 PM
    • 15Posts
    • 8Thanks
    Debz71
    IUC re undeclared assets (gold jewellery) - help with a question no-one knows the answer to
    • #1
    • 7th Feb 19, 8:04 PM
    IUC re undeclared assets (gold jewellery) - help with a question no-one knows the answer to 7th Feb 19 at 8:04 PM
    I've been invited to attend an interview under caution next week at my local council offices concerning alleged benefit fraud they suspect I committed some years ago (in 2004 and 2008/2009) amounting to an overpayment totalling in excess of £3,000 for however many months' worth of Unemployment and Council Tax Benefit I claimed during those two periods. I spoke to a solicitor acquaintance last weekend who strongly advised I should attend so as to help determine what new evidence they may have, but I already know they haven't any whatsoever other than what they possess which consists entirely of the uncorroborated word of one person - my sister - who's a cocaine addict, inveterate liar and someone who has a long list of convictions for dishonesty, including benefit fraud which relates directly to this malarkey. I have no criminal record.

    I likely will attend and stick to mostly "no comment" replies as I may have blasted myself in the foot by ending a prior fractious three-hour long compliance interview by issuing them a challenge to raise a fraud investigation if they cared to waste more of my time. I know I'm not legally compelled to attend, and I'm as sure as I can be that no court would convict me if they choose to prosecute but nevertheless it's a concern. Also related to this is an unresolved police investigation into my financial circumstances. Five weeks back they searched my home under warrant very thoroughly. To say I was unimpressed would be an understatement. It was evident from the outset they expected to discover a very substantial ("26 kilos of the stuff") hoard of gold jewellery but found none other than two rings and necklace I was wearing. They seized £12K cash from a safe, though, and arrested me on suspicion of handling stolen goods (non-existent gold jewellery) and money laundering (the £12K).

    Their questioning was unlike the council/DWP inquisition I'd received previously in that benefits weren't touched upon but they were every bit as interested in the gold I supposedly once had possession of and (they believed) still did and what's more their "information suggested" was the proceeds of crime, and that I may have committed "a form" of probate fraud with regard to my late mother's estate I was joint beneficiary of (along with sis) in 2000 which, they said, could have Inheritance Tax implications as their "sources indicated" I was complicit in not declaring her "£200K cash savings". (No mention was made of any cash sum at the benefits grilling and I rather think vengeful sis deliberately omitted that info from them.) It was simplicity to satisfy the lead detective that the cash taken was legitimately earned but am increasingly frustrated by delays in its return.

    The focus of the compliance interview in July centred on my finances throughout those Unemployment/Council Tax Benefit claims in 2004 and 2008/9. The DWP fella, whose sneering manner annoyed me no end, kept insisting they had information I came in to possession of "a very substantial" amount of gold jewellery in 2000 and retained ownership of most or all of it throughout the duration of those claims and as its value far exceeded the maximum threshold for claiming anything means-tested and that the claims were fraudulent from the their beginnings. I countered by stating that even if I did have the mythical hoard then personal jewellery is exempt from savings and assets calculations to which he replied it was a "grey area" and particularly so when items are inset with numerous sovereign coins that are bullion and "somewhat different". It's a moot point whether bullion coins contained in rings, bracelets, etc, are considered different or not, but I am frustrated by failing to discover a definitive answer after reading miles of info including decision makers' guides, so if anyone can provide a link to something official on the subject I'd be most obliged.
Page 2
    • Debz71
    • By Debz71 10th Feb 19, 4:12 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Debz71
    You didnít answer, you deflected the question.

    I think that everyone can see whatís going on here, Iím out, and hope justice takes its course.
    Originally posted by John G Jones
    I did answer you. They asked in several different ways why she gifted me something worth £60K. When they tired of my replies ("ask her - I don't know - I'm not prepared to speculate?" etc - they finally revealed she was the source of the allegations and had alleged I paid her £60K cash. "That's untrue," was my pointed response. There's no dispute she did indeed sign over half the house for £0, or that our mother practically emptied her bank account via cash withdrawals. They possess no tangible evidence of I or anyone else ever laying a finger on her cash or that I paid for the property. Purely as an aside, had sis pocketed a sum that size it would been blown, literally, by disappearing up her hooter in a year or less.
    • Debz71
    • By Debz71 10th Feb 19, 4:19 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Debz71
    A further point that occurred to me that you might want to consider IF you decide to answer any future questions or IUCs is the what appears be a quite ridiculous claims of your sister / the authorities as to "about 26 kilograms of gold" ....

    I have just checked the current scrap value of 26kg of gold :-
    IF it was ALL low-grade 9ct gold, the current value would be circa £302,000 ;
    IF it was ALL high-grade 22ct gold, the current value would be circa £740,000 ...

    It obviously wouldn't have been the same many years ago, but it would still have been extremely substantial at whatever the relevant time was .... For example, I know that in the financial-crash gold rush period of circa 2010-2012, the value would have been not far off double the current price.

    The point being is that due to gold-dealer record-keeping & money-laundering & know-your-client regulations, it would be almost impossible for the average person to easily or legimately dispose of or sell THAT MUCH gold without leaving one hell of an "Audit Trail" in whatever institutions or businesses did the buying, and they are all bound by law to pay by cheque or into a traceable account AND to supply records to the Authorities.

    Even IF 26kg were to be sold for cash on the Black/Criminal Market, it would be out of the league of all but major players and would still leave the "purported seller" trying to "hide" hundreds of thousands of pounds in Cash.

    In essence, in the absence of any such substantiating evidence, any reasonable person or authority or "the average man on the Clapham omnibus" would have to conclude the "26kg of gold" was nothing more than a (potentially malicious) fantasy allegation.

    As per my OP, my advice still remains NOT to attend any such IUC, nor to be drawn in to trying to "justify" yourself or answer questions .... as the Authorities & Bodies you are dealing with are masters of deception & manipulation once they have a target in their sights.
    Originally posted by Gold_Shogun
    I don't recall either set of investigators placing an estimated value denominated in pounds on the fictitious hoard. I presume one or both have scoured my bank records searching for credits from any gold buyers, Ramsdens and the like, only to draw a blank. I daresay it would be possible to sell such an amount in stages in return for cash to Delboy characters. Neither attempted to make a case that I have lived beyond my income subsidised by the anonymity of cash from undeclared gold sales. I guess it's why they persist with the notion that it's hidden somewhere.

    Mum ran that business for circa 22 years, and she could have accumulated such an amount because to her gold - and to a lesser extent silver - equalled real money. She'd often remark she must have some Indian ancestry as many of their citizens preserve their wealth by placing their savings in precious metals.
    • Debz71
    • By Debz71 11th Feb 19, 7:27 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Debz71
    Hooray! The matter is at an end.

    Within 90 minutes this morning I had two phone calls, one from a police officer then later another from a DWP rep. In the first, one of the pair who had interviewed me explained that having reviewed the evidence it was decided not to proceed. In the other, a man informed me not to attend an IUC this Friday as both they and the local council were satisfied relevant claims I made years ago were bona fide. He concluded by saying to expect confirmation in writing within days.

    The former, who was quite forthcoming, quipped that the land's best QC wouldn't have got a result prosecuting a case on their evidence, or lack of. All that needs to be done now is to collect the cash and discover how to make whoever signed the warrant accountable for choosing to do so.
    • sportsarb
    • By sportsarb 11th Feb 19, 8:44 PM
    • 622 Posts
    • 454 Thanks
    sportsarb
    In my experience, fraud investigators know relatively little about the benefit system. They’re hired to do a specific job and it matters little how much they know about the actual benefit.

    In my previous life as a go between for local office-fraud, I often wondered what they were playing at with investigations, they would attempt to prosecute people who moved from IB to ESA for failing to declare pensions but with a cursory check we found out it was declared decades before and they were told not to worry about it because of how IB treated pensions.

    Then there was the urgent case that was being taken to court imminently because someone’s business continued to trade, we worked it from the benefit side, total overpayment of £0.00.

    Just a few examples but I’m glad the case in this thread seems to have been sorted, eventually, even if it could have been done earlier.
    • Gold_Shogun
    • By Gold_Shogun 12th Feb 19, 12:28 AM
    • 234 Posts
    • 212 Thanks
    Gold_Shogun
    *In my experience, fraud investigators know relatively little about the benefit system. They’re hired to do a specific job and it matters little how much they know about the actual benefit.*

    In my previous life as a go between for local office-fraud, I often wondered what they were playing at with investigations, they would attempt to prosecute people who moved from IB to ESA for failing to declare pensions but with a cursory check we found out it was declared decades before and they were told not to worry about it because of how IB treated pensions.

    Then there was the urgent case that was being taken to court imminently because someone’s business continued to trade, we worked it from the benefit side, total overpayment of £0.00.


    Just a few examples .....
    Originally posted by sportsarb
    * VERY True * ... As my family & I know from bitter personal experience.

    For a further couple of examples, in my Dad's case, the Senior DWP "Fraud Investigator" tried to convince the Police during an IUC that my Dad's Attendance Allowance was provided solely for the purpose of (and I quote verbatim) "buying fuel and paying for his car maintenance" and my Dad was illegally using it for other purposes (namely, to help pay his local Carers) ... AND also that UK State Pensions, Xmas Bonus, & Winter Fuel Payments are NEVER payable in Ireland or anywhere else outwith Great Britain (namely, England, Wales, & Scotland).

    The DWP tried to steal circa £20,000 in alleged overpayments from my Dad ... But at the end of his HMCTS Appeals which took several years as the DWP tried their damndest to delay & stonewall the Appeals, the HMCTS Tribunal fully cancelled the alleged overpayments AND ordered the DWP to pay my Dad nearly £18,000 over and above that in "previously and wrongly suspended Arrears Due" to my Dad.

    All of that was AFTER the DWP & Police falsely accused ME of either killing my Dad OR keeping secret my Dad's death by natural causes, AND me supposedly burying him in my garden .... Allegedly so I could "steal" his Pensions & Assets for myself.

    I used to think I was paranoic, but now I realise I'm not paranoic enough when it comes to these corrupt B*******s.

    .
    Last edited by Gold_Shogun; 12-02-2019 at 12:31 AM. Reason: clarification typo
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
    Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

    - Benjamin Franklin
    • Gold_Shogun
    • By Gold_Shogun 12th Feb 19, 12:34 AM
    • 234 Posts
    • 212 Thanks
    Gold_Shogun
    Hooray! The matter is at an end.

    Within 90 minutes this morning I had two phone calls, one from a police officer then later another from a DWP rep. In the first, one of the pair who had interviewed me explained that having reviewed the evidence it was decided not to proceed. In the other, a man informed me not to attend an IUC this Friday as both they and the local council were satisfied relevant claims I made years ago were bona fide. He concluded by saying to expect confirmation in writing within days.

    The former, who was quite forthcoming, quipped that the land's best QC wouldn't have got a result prosecuting a case on their evidence, or lack of. All that needs to be done now is to collect the cash and discover how to make whoever signed the warrant accountable for choosing to do so.
    Originally posted by Debz71
    Congratulations Debz .... I'm VERY pleased to hear of your successful result ! ... And thank you kindly for letting us know.
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
    Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

    - Benjamin Franklin
    • Debz71
    • By Debz71 12th Feb 19, 8:05 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Debz71
    Thanks for your kind words.

    This has been an overwhelmingly negative experience but because of it I'm far more informed on a whole range of subjects than previously. Before I would have struggled to accurately define what currency (AKA money) is and clueless about how the vast majority of it comes into existence. I understand now why unimportant, puerile junk such as The X-Factor is plastered over TV screens every year for months totalling scores of broadcast hours while fractional reserve banking and lending gets nil attention.

    As regards the world of benefits, going forward other than what I'll keep in my current account to pay direct debits the true state of my finances will remain opaque to Big Brother and all its worker bees.
    • Afraid of Kittens
    • By Afraid of Kittens 12th Feb 19, 8:25 PM
    • 195 Posts
    • 225 Thanks
    Afraid of Kittens
    Hooray! The matter is at an end.

    Within 90 minutes this morning I had two phone calls, one from a police officer then later another from a DWP rep. In the first, one of the pair who had interviewed me explained that having reviewed the evidence it was decided not to proceed. In the other, a man informed me not to attend an IUC this Friday as both they and the local council were satisfied relevant claims I made years ago were bona fide. He concluded by saying to expect confirmation in writing within days.

    The former, who was quite forthcoming, quipped that the land's best QC wouldn't have got a result prosecuting a case on their evidence, or lack of. All that needs to be done now is to collect the cash and discover how to make whoever signed the warrant accountable for choosing to do so.
    Originally posted by Debz71
    At the end of the day your biggest problem hasn't gone away.

    Your sister.

    The whole train of events and everything you have gone through is down to your sister.

    What will she do next? What allegations will she make? She wants you to sell up and give her cash. She isn't going to stop.
    I enjoy flower arranging, kittens, devil worship, the study of serial killers and their methods and road kill jigsaws.
    • Debz71
    • By Debz71 12th Feb 19, 9:20 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    Debz71
    She's out of bullets. I made a pledge many years ago to look out for her but exhausted my patience. Hedonism to her equates to consuming illegal substances at every opportunity. Because of her I've known dozens of other human derelicts who are identical. Without exception they said they thought they were too strong-willed to succumb to drug dependency. She's moved 10 miles away to Cardiff. I have little doubt her days are spent annoying shoppers for change to help pay towards bogus train and bus fares. If I happen upon her to receive a similar request then she'll get a Foxtrot Oscar reply.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

806Posts Today

7,652Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Right back to self imposed twitter exile until Thur - trying to be off work (not v successfully)

  • Too painful to talk about. That result really was offsensive. For rancid cheese & onion to beat powerful salt & v? https://t.co/FJchchPk0o

  • If you think this hypothetical's bad, here's some of my past polls - Which past PM would u resurrect to aid politi? https://t.co/N61QGBOJ6b

  • Follow Martin