Double life of Leeds benefit fraudster

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A fraudster who created a false identity for himself in order to claim double the amount of employment benefit he was entitled to has been jailed.

Don Harrison, 34, managed to illegally claim more than £12,000 during a four-year scam which was eventually uncovered by a suspicious Department of Work and Pensions investigator.

Leeds Crown Court heard Harrison’s offending began in 2010 when he pretended his name was Kacoul Akuany in order to claim employment support.

Harrison also provided fake documents and a false national insurance number as part of the deception.

He managed to obtain benefits under that name as well as his real name.

The offending came to light in November 2014 when a member of staff at Keighley Jobcentre interviewed him and became suspicious.

Harrison, pretending to be Kacoul Akuany, claimed he lived in the town at an address on Emily Street.

The member of staff went and knocked on the door of the property and a woman answered.

The woman said no one by that name lived at the address but said letters had arrived at her home addressed to a Kacoul Akuany.

She also said a man fitting Harrison’s description had knocked on her door making enquiries about letters for Kacoul Akuany.

The court heard Harrison went to a Jobcentre in Bradford in January 2015 and gave his real name.

He was then arrested two months later at Park Place Jobcentre in Leeds city centre after he gave his name as Kacoul Akuany to support a claim for Jobseekers Allowance.

Harrison was arretsed and intitally denied any wrongdoing.

Stephanie Hancock, mitigating, said: “He said he often changed his name by deed poll as he liked it.”

He eventually admitted making the bogus claims.

Harrison, of Devon Close, Woodhouse, Leeds, pleaded guilty to two offences of benefit fraud.

Stephen Smithson, mitigating, said Harrison had no previous convictions and the offences had not been committed in order to live “the high life”.

Harrison was jailed for nine months.

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