Man admits benefit fraud

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A Lavenham man has admitted fraudulently claiming £27,500 in benefits over five years.

After Mr Recorder Craig Ferguson directed Gary Raffle be found not guilty of two offences of failing to notify a change in his circumstances, which he had denied, Raffle today pleaded guilty to making false representation to obtain benefits.

Granting him bail, at Ipswich Crown Court, until he is sentenced on a date yet to be fixed, Mr Recorder Ferguson ordered a pre-sentence report on Raffle, 56, of Water Street, by the Probation Service.

The court had heard claims that he sold a house in London in 2006 for more than £300,000 and failed to reveal this when he applied for benefits.

When interviewed by benefit fraud investigators Raffle claimed to be unaware of the need to disclose ownership of a property and had believed that the package of benefits he received was linked to his ill health and was not means tested.