Wealthy Keston man who defrauded government department and Bromley Council out of nearly £70k escapes jail

Wealthy Keston man who defrauded government department and Bromley Council out of nearly £70k escapes jail

Wealthy Keston man who defrauded government department and Bromley Council out of nearly £70k escapes jail

First published in News News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A wealthy Keston man has narrowly escaped jail after defrauding a government department and Bromley Council out of nearly £70,000.

Geoffrey Sims, 65, of Mark Close, pleaded guilty to five offences under the Social Security Administration Act at Croydon Crown Court on August 7.

Simons was sentenced to 10 months’ in prison, suspended for 18 months, and has been given a six-month curfew order keeping him housebound between 10pm and 6am.

The court heard how Sims claimed £16,900 in council tax benefit between 2005 and 2013, while also received credit from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) totalling £44,137.

He also took £7,252 in Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) after dishonestly producing a relative’s claim for the money.

Anonymous information passed to the authorities led to the discovery that when Sims had made his first claim he failed to mention numerous assets and funds.

Bromley Council said Sims owned two additional properties he rented out, had sold a house in Spain, and had inherited more than £16,000.

He also had two private pensions, more than £42,000 in premium bonds, and more than £102,000 in a bank account.

The fraudster also put a property he bought in a relative’s name after receiving £600,000 from land he sold and took responsibility for the relative’s false claim to ESA based on ownership of the property.

Councillor Neil Reddin, chairman of Bromley’s Audit Committee, said: “We are pleased with the successful prosecution, though we believe a custodial sentence would have been appropriate in this case given the amount involved and the failure to declare considerable assets.

“This case demonstrates the importance of reporting concerns to Bromley Council so that cheats can be tracked down and prosecuted. We must ensure that public funds are only used for those in genuine need.”

Sims had to pay all the money back to Bromley Council and the DWP.

Comments (6)

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5:20pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Marty1979 says...

Yet there are people in need to have to fight for every penny
Yet there are people in need to have to fight for every penny Marty1979
  • Score: 10

5:57pm Wed 27 Aug 14

ElsieH says...

Disgusting. Should have had a prison sentence, then see how his "wealth" helps him inside.
Disgusting. Should have had a prison sentence, then see how his "wealth" helps him inside. ElsieH
  • Score: 11

6:36pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Harold_Monk says...

Don't you just love the Freemasons!
Don't you just love the Freemasons! Harold_Monk
  • Score: 10

10:23am Thu 28 Aug 14

sarfflondonbird says...

Why? Why did he get a suspended jail sentence? It beggars belief how some of these judges work and how their minds actually sum up sentencing. After all the information they found out about this bloke, he gets off with a suspended jail sentence and curfew. Wonder what he;s got that a lot of us honest decent people haven't?
What I really want to know - has all of his properties/lands/****
ets etc been confiscated to pay back the money he fleeced from the honest citizen who does pay their council tax and cant get a penny off the DWP for genuine illnesses, and were subsidizing his wealth? Because I know of a good few honest citizens who have been denied assistance through DWP especially concerning ESA benefit and they didn't have a quarter of the wealth this thieving prat had. Like Harold_Monk says, it's got to be Freemasons hasn't it?
Why? Why did he get a suspended jail sentence? It beggars belief how some of these judges work and how their minds actually sum up sentencing. After all the information they found out about this bloke, he gets off with a suspended jail sentence and curfew. Wonder what he;s got that a lot of us honest decent people haven't? What I really want to know - has all of his properties/lands/**** ets etc been confiscated to pay back the money he fleeced from the honest citizen who does pay their council tax and cant get a penny off the DWP for genuine illnesses, and were subsidizing his wealth? Because I know of a good few honest citizens who have been denied assistance through DWP especially concerning ESA benefit and they didn't have a quarter of the wealth this thieving prat had. Like Harold_Monk says, it's got to be Freemasons hasn't it? sarfflondonbird
  • Score: 12

11:21am Thu 28 Aug 14

Gypo.Joe says...

Leave the poor old guy alone.

It was an honest mistake guv, that's all.

£70K is a mere bagatelle in the bigger picture. Look at MPs and their expense's scandal.

Anyway this old chap only lives around the corner so he cant be all bad.
Leave the poor old guy alone. It was an honest mistake guv, that's all. £70K is a mere bagatelle in the bigger picture. Look at MPs and their expense's scandal. Anyway this old chap only lives around the corner so he cant be all bad. Gypo.Joe
  • Score: 4

11:50am Thu 28 Aug 14

concerned.erith says...

Amazing - how the 'wealthy' get away with it!

We've been trying to get help for over a year but because I work DPW won't help us so how the hell can this person get help when I can't?
Amazing - how the 'wealthy' get away with it! We've been trying to get help for over a year but because I work DPW won't help us so how the hell can this person get help when I can't? concerned.erith
  • Score: 10

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