Friday, August 22, 2014

Jobcentre staff stole claimants’ benefits after getting into debt

Originally posted on UNEMPLOYED IN TYNE & WEAR:

A civil servant siphoned off nearly £2,000 from people’s benefits after struggling to meet the payments of his pay-day loan.

Anthony Osborne was paying £700 from his monthly salary to meet the “exorbitant” interest rates of his loan, Sunderland magistrates were told.

He turned to crime and took £1,932 in just five weeks after realising he could alter bank details on customers’ electronic records.

But he was caught after two claimants complained they had not received their benefits and an internal audit was carried out.

Osborne, 42, was arrested and pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position before Sunderland Magistrates’ Court in June.

At a sentencing hearing this week, Osborne blamed mounting debts and depression for the deception, described in court as being totally out of character for a man who had never been in trouble with the law.
Osborne, who gave his address in court as…

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