A benefits cheat fraudulently claimed more than £60,000 after failing to declare he owned a house, a court heard.
Malcolm Ogden had been legitimately receiving income support from 1998, however didn’t tell the authorities in 2000 that he had become the legal owner of a £70,000 house on Frederick Street in Accrington.
Burnley Crown Court heard how he continued to claim income support, housing benefits and council tax benefits for the next 10 years and was overpaid £6,000 a year between 2002 and 2012.
Ogden, 57, of Frederick Street, pleaded guilty to one count of dishonestly failing to notify a change in circumstances affecting his entitlement to income support and three counts of making a dishonest representation to obtain benefits. He was given a 12-month community order with supervision requirement and ordered to pay compensation of £57,582.
Neville Biddle, prosecuting, told the court how Ogden had declared to Hyndburn Council and the Department for Work and Pensions he had no income, employment or capital assets.
However when he became the owner of the house he failed to inform the authorities of the capital asset which was valued at more than £16,000 - the cut off limit for receiving income support.
Mr Biddle said Ogden also received nearly £16,000 from Manchester Council in housing and council tax benefits while living at two addresses and was then later granted permission from Hyndburn Council to receive the same benefits.
Clare Thomas, defending, said Ogden couldn’t read or write and claimed when the deeds of the house were transferred into his name it was ‘without his knowledge’.
Miss Thomas told the court how the property is in an ‘extremely poor state of repair’ and said the house now wouldn’t be valued at £70,000.
She said: “I wouldn’t have thought it would be worth anything like that.
“It’s the sort of house that needs to be totally gutted. If his house is sold he would be left homeless and the authorities would have to find housing for him. He is a vulnerable individual. It would potentially put a greater burden on the state.”
Miss Thomas said Ogden, who has chronic arthritis, diabetes, and suffers from black outs, is unable to work and has already repaid £3,000 following deductions from his benefits.