A former soldier who raked in almost £40,000 in over eight years of fraudulent benefit claims without revealing he had nearly £300,000 in two banks and properties in Spain will have to wait until next month to discover if he is to be jailed or not.
Dungannon Crown Court Judge Paul Ramsey QC told 47-year-old former Royal Irish Regiment soldier Clive Miller the fact he was releasing him on bail should not be taken as an indication as to what sentence may be imposed.
Miller, from Coleshill Crescent in Enniskillen in Co Fermanagh had previously pleaded guilty to four charges of failing to declare a change in circumstances to the Social Security Agency between May 2002 and December 2010 in obtaining both housing benefit and income support.
However, two other charges of money laundering against the invalid former soldier, who is still in receipt of benefits including DLA for industrial injuries, arising out of deposits of over £280,000 in Santander and Ulster Bank accounts between March 2003 and April 2006 were ‘left on the books’ and not proceeded with.
Prosecution lawyer Michael McAleer revealed that while claiming the extra benefits, Miller failed to declare that he was in receipt of additional sources of income, and also had a house and a bar complex in Alicante in Spain, and was using the benefit payments to fund the Spanish mortgages.
Defence counsel Conan Rea said while it was accepted the custodial threshold was crossed in Miller’s case, he asked Judge Ramsey to agree to the suggestion in the various reports to suspend any sentence, and at the same time to “leave something hanging over his head”.