Home   Kent   News   Article

George Brazil claims £40k in benefits - while hoarding £90k

£20 notes
£20 notes

A pensioner who claimed almost £40,000 in benefits over eight years was found to have about £90,000 in savings, a court heard.

Police discovered £35,970 in cash in four separate places at George Brazil’s home.

Further investigations revealed he had over £53,000 in a building society account.

But the 68-year-old benefit cheat escaped an immediate jail sentence after admitting the fraud.

Brazil, of Glenbrook Grove, Sittingbourne, was sentenced to seven months imprisonment suspended for a year, with supervision and 100 hours unpaid work.

Told that there would be a confiscation hearing in several months' time, a judge asked why he could not make an order that the £39,664 be repaid within 28 days.

After lengthy legal arguments Judge Martin Joy was told by prosecutor Mary Jacobson the cash couldn't be paid on the clearance of a cheque.

The prosecutor said Brazil claimed he could not read or write and the forms on which he did not declare savings were counter-signed by council employees.

The matter came to light when police went to Brazil’s home with a search warrant in January 2010. No charges arose, but the cash was found.

“None of the money had been declared to the DWP or council,” said Miss Jacobson. “By March 2010, he had over £53,000 in his Nationwide account.

Maidstone crown court
Maidstone crown court

George Brazil was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court

Over the course of the indictment, the amount was increasing.

“The amount a person was allowed to have in capital at the time was £8,000.

He received a combination of benefits to which he was not entitled.

“He said no one ever asked him if he had savings. He agreed he did not give correct answers. He said the money in his account was left to him by his parents.”

Simon Taylor, defending, said the circumstances were unique. Brazil did not use the money to fund a lavish lifestyle.

“He hoarded the money,” he said. “He relied on the state to live a modest lifestyle. It was committed out of dishonesty, but not necessarily out of greed.”

Mr Taylor said Brazil had learning difficulties and moderate depression. He was brought up in a travelling community and struggled because he was homosexual.

He did not receive mainstream education and had literacy and numeracy problems.

Judge Joy told Brazil: “This was a course of dishonesty, fraudulent from the outset and carried out for a significant period of time. There were multiple frauds. This was thoroughly dishonest."

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More