Suspended jail sentence for benefit cheat
A 50-year-old South Ockendon man received a suspended prison sentence at Basildon Crown Court after admitting eight benefit fraud charges.
Victor Popper, of Broxburn Drive, appeared at the court on Wednesday (5 January), where he pleaded guilty to the charges relating to dishonestly obtaining nearly £12,000 in benefits from Thurrock Council and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The charges cover two years where he was doing undeclared work as a self-employed lorry driver.
Popper had been able to obtain the work by using false documents in his brother’s name.
Popper was eventually arrested at his home, where the false documents were found.
Having told the court that he is no longer on benefit, is paying the money back to the council and the DWP, and has good immediate job prospects, Popper was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with a probation supervision order for 18 months.
He was also ordered to perform 200 hours unpaid work within 12 months and pay £1,000 towards the prosecution costs.
The remaining overpaid benefit is being recovered.