A pensioner who hid more than £130,000 in savings accounts to illegally claim benefits for eight years has received a suspended jail term.
Ahmed Khan, 73, of Ravenstone Road, Wood Green, was prosecuted following an investigation by Harngey Borough Council.
He had failed to tell the authority and Department for Work and Pensions of his sizable savings when applying for council tax benefit and pension credit in 2005.
Khan went on to falsely claim more than £20,000 until investigators from both organisations quizzed him about the savings in June last year, when they found several bank accounts linked to his name.
When questioned, Khan claimed he’d ‘earmarked’ the money to pay for education for his children but admitted he should have declared it when claiming for benefits.
At Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on January 28, Khan was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, after pleading guilty to two charges of dishonestly making a false declaration to the council and the Department for Work and Pensions.
He was also fined £2,000 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £100 and costs of £85.
The authority and the Department for Work and Pensions will now seek to recover the falsely claimed benefits.
Councillor Joe Goldberg, cabinet member for finance, said: “We won’t let the benefits system be abused by those hiding huge stockpiles of cash in their bank accounts.
“Benefits are rightly there for those who need them and we’ll continue to clamp down on those who cheat the system to protect the vast majority of families who claim lawfully.”