Benefit cheat who claimed dead mum's Christmas allowance says he was depressed and has cancer (From This Is Local London)
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Benefit cheat who claimed dead mum's Christmas allowance says he was depressed and has cancer
A son has said he was suffering from depression when he claimed £66,000 worth of his dead mother's benefits, including her winter fuel allowance and Christmas bonus over seven years.
New Malden man Brian Dixon, 65, managed to pull off the deceit when he was given power of attorney over his late father and mother’s joint bank account which already contained £55,000.
The Dukes Avenue resident was also benefit appointee for his mother who he had moved into nearby £3,500-a-month Lynton Hall Nursing Home, following the death of his father in 1997.
But when Joanna Dixon died on February 5 in 2004, he began claiming her attendance allowance, winter fuel payments, Christmas bonuses and even her state pension and failed to tell the Department for Work and Pensions about her death.
In a statement released to the Surrey Comet he said: “I was suffering from depression, I had been diagnosed with a serious illness and my mother had just died a very unpleasant death.
“I was faced with very substantial debts and was in danger of losing my home. Rather than seeing my children put out on the streets I took the only option, as I saw it at the time, which was to use the money.”
Dixon who has a silver Jaguar and a light blue VW Beetle, said his actions had cost him.
He said: “This action has meant that I have lost my career, my home, my marriage and my self respect; to make matters worse I have just been diagnosed with cancer.
“I would also like to add that all of the money is being paid back to the DWP.”
An investigator visited Dixon’s home in April 2012 and he was interviewed the following year in May when he admitted the wrongdoings.
He told prosecutors he carried out the benefit fraud following financial difficulties after losing a job, a death of a close friend and the breakdown of his marriage.
A neighbour said Dixon lived in a happy family-of-four. She said: “They are not very kind. They are always complaining. I am surprised about this because a while ago their car got egged and they called the police about it.”
Dixon and two of his siblings were each given £10,000 from his father’s will and he also benefited from selling their family home in Seaford for £95,000.
Fraud investigator Ann Goslyn said: “Brian Dixon lived a lie for nearly eight years, profiteering from his mother’s death while defrauding the taxpayer of tens of thousands of pounds.”
Dixon will appear at Kingston Crown Court at a later date to be sentenced.
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