Fraudster who let state pay his mortgage pays back £39,000
Fraudster Adam Johnson avoided a jail sentence for his part in swindling taxpayers out of £54,000.
Johnson, 31, of Podsmead Road, Gloucester, bought a house with his partner Emma Willis before the pair set about servicing their mortgage with a fictional lease.
They secured thousands of pounds in tax credits, housing and council benefits during the three-and-a-half-year scam, despite Johnson having more than £100,000 in savings from an inheritance.
Willis, 28, had already been sentenced in May to a nine-month jail term, suspended for two years.
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Johnson, however, was given the chance to pay back his share of the scammed cash before learning his fate.
He returned to face Judge Jamie Tabor QC at Gloucester Crown Court on Wednesday, where he was spared a custodial sentence.
The court heard he had managed to pay back his share – more than £39,000, £25,500 of which was council tax credit and the rest income support.
The swindle had wound up leaving him virtually broke, the judge said.
“He has missed going to prison by a whisker,” he said.
Addressing Johnson – who is also servicing other bank loans totalling more than £15,000 – Judge Tabor added: “The state was funding your mortgage. It was incredibly dishonest and fraudulent.
“You could have had absolutely no complaint had you gone to prison. You have left yourself pretty broke as a result of this but you only have yourself to blame.”
Johnson was given two six-month prison sentences to run concurrently, suspended for two years. He will also do 250 hours of community service and pay £200 costs.
After the hearing, Judge Tabor added: “The Chancellor of the Exchequer will be pleased about that at least.”