18th of November 2012 Author: Ava Jackuard
A Top Ten Bingo caller has reportedly been caught cheating the UK benefit system. He carried on working while claiming a variety of benefits. This scam is taken very seriously and has even landed him a jail sentence.
Terrance Hutchings admitted to four counts of benefit fraud over the course of five years during a recent court appearance. From April 15th 2002 to April 2nd 2007, he claimed £55,987.58 in pension, housing and council tax benefits while holding a job during this time.
During an interview, Hutchings said that he believed that he only had to declare his income if he worked more than 16 hours each week. His penalty is an 8 months in prison 12 month suspension and he must work 120 hours without being paid.
As for the Top Ten Bingo hall, it was not confirmed that this is where Hutchings worked during the time of this scam but it is known that his wife worked as a cleaner for the NHS Trust.
The judge, Richard Twomlow, has also enforced a four month curfew from 9pm until 7am and said, 'These effect of these proceedings have been salutary and significant.'
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It's not surprising that someone like Hutchings has been committing this fraud against the system of benefits. I am glad to hear though that he wasn't somehow stealing pots from the bingo customers but has decided that the UK benefit system is a better target.
Actually his sentence seems rather light when compared to the large amount of pension claimed over the 5 years. I don't know if any 'good time' is granted for cases such as this, but a 8 month sentence can sometimes be reduced down to 3 or 4 months. As for the suspension, well, I would hope it would not run concurrently with his sentence, but it probably does.
It seems that Top Ten is not going to suffer any consequences in this case, which is good. It would seem that they would have been providing some kind of verification to the UK benefit system regarding Hutchings' income and hours worked. I am curious as to how the fraud was discovered and how long they waited to begin prosecution in this case.
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