A British expat with hundreds of thousands of pounds in his bank accounts defrauded the UK government out of £85,000 in benefits while living a lavish lifestyle in the Philippines.
According to a report on MailOnline, 60-year-old Antony Malam was enjoying the ‘good life’ after he swindled the state over a period of six years.
Malam claimed almost every benefit available including income support, employment support allowance, disability living allowance, housing benefits, council tax benefits, pension credits and incapacity benefits.
Judge David Fletcher, a judge at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard the claims of the state against Antony Malam and said his offences were “breathtaking.”
Malam used aliases from 2008 to 2014 to claim even more benefits, all the while he had £310,000 in his savings account alone. The court also heard that Malam continued to pocket housing benefits as a single person while living in the Philippines in 2013.
Prosecutor Sarah Badrawy said: “It became clear the defendant was acting as a tenant and landlord using false documents to verify that position.
“On at least two occasions he had conversations with the authorities indicating one of the tenants had gone to visit a friend and was in hospital when he was clearly aware he had died.”
The court heard the prosecution describe how Malam frequently travelled abroad and enjoyed a luxurious life spending his ill-gotten wealth.
Ms Bradway added: “It was established he had numerous bank accounts in the UK and abroad. He was substantially over the limit he would have been entitled to had his claims been legitimate.”
Richard Gibbs, mitigating the case, said: “He acknowledges the wrong he has committed. He apologises for what he h as done. He has made clear financial recompense.”
So far, Malam has paid back almost £100,000. In all he committed nine offences of benefits fraud and was jailed for 32 months.
Judge Fletcher told Malam: “The extent of your dishonesty is frankly breathtaking. Day-after-day in this court there is a procession of people who depend for their livelihood on benefits. Most of them are living on or close to the bread-line.
“At times you had £310,000 in an account in the Philippines when making these sort of claims, going to the extraordinary length of changing your name.
“The claims were fraudulent from the outset, with the proceeds helping to fund your lavish lifestyle. They were carried out over a lengthy period of time.
“This is one of the most serious offences of its type I have ever seen.”