Lenzie benefits cheat told to hand over more than £20k

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A BENEFITS fraudster who cheated the public purse has been forced to hand over more than £20,000 in ill-gotten gains.

A confiscation order has been granted at Glasgow Sheriff Court against Baljinder Atwal (51), seizing £20,386.82.

The Lenzie man pled guilty to committing income support fraud over a four-year period between 2002 and 2006.

He has been sentenced to 200 hours of community service.

Lindsey Miller, head of the Serious and Organised Crime Division (SOCD), said: “Benefit fraud is seen by some as an easy way to make money, but it is simply stealing from the public purse. The Proceeds of Crime Act allows us to take this money back from the people who commit this type of crime.

“Baljinder Atwal owned property, was running companies and had access to substantial bank accounts and turnover. This crime was simply motivated by greed.

“The order for £20,386.82 represents the full benefit he gained from this crime over the four years.

“The money will be added to the £60million already gathered from Proceeds of Crime and will be re-invested by Scottish Ministers through the CashBack for Communities programme.

“I hope this will serve as a warning to others considering committing similar frauds that the Crown will use the law to force you to pay back any money made in this way.”

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