Prison threat to fraudster

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A BENEFIT cheat has been warned he is facing jail over a £50,000 claim scam.

James Clark was paid income support, council tax and housing benefit he was not entitled to by failing to disclose he had thousands of pounds in savings.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday the 54-year-old pleaded guilty to obtaining property by deception between August 2002 and October 2010.

He also admitted making false statements and failing to notify a change of circumstances.

Clark, of Oxford Avenue, Donwell, Washington, will be sentenced next week and was granted bail.

Vince Ward, defending, said Clark and his partner’s bank account have been frozen since the start of the investigation.

The court heard the exact overpayment of benefit is £49,638.

Judge Guy Whitburn told him: “This was thoroughly dishonest and I warn you, in the light of the size of what you have falsely obtained from the Department of Work and Pensions, you are likely to go to prison.”