Man guilty of £40,000 deception

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Latest crime and court news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A man has been found guilty of dishonestly claiming almost £40,000 in housing-related benefits from Babergh District Council.

The allegations were made at Ipswich Crown Court where businessman Kaj Jensen, of Whatfield Hall, Whatfield, has been on trial since last week.

The jury heard that while claiming benefits from the council since 2007, the 75-year-old had travelled extensively to China, the Far East and Africa.

Over a four-year period, his lavish lifestyle also saw him spend £4,000 at garden centres.

In one year, Jensen’s phone bill was for £999, according to prosecutor Lynne Shirley, who told the court that he had also spent hundreds of pounds with wine suppliers.

The prosecution said that Jensen had failed to disclose that he was a director of a number of companies, had a private pension and that he and his wife received Danish pensions.

In total, Jensen was overpaid £28,383 in housing benefit and £11,332 in council tax benefit, said Miss Shirley.

During the trial, Jensen, who represented himself, said he had been unaware that he was doing anything wrong and did not believe that he had broken the law deliberately.

He denied charges of dishonestly making a false statement for housing and council tax benefit, dishonestly failing to disclose information for the purposes of claiming discretionary housing payment and failing to notify the council about a change in his circumstances.

After retiring to consider their verdicts, the jury found Jensen guilty of all charges yesterday.

He was released on bail and will return to court on November 24, when he will be sentenced.