Spain – A Main Player in a UK Expat Fraud Investigation
The majority of UK citizens who emigrate to Spain do so for perfectly innocent reasons. Perhaps to pursue a career opportunity, to study overseas, to retire in the sun or to simply enjoy a change of lifestyle.
But according to governmental inspectors, some UK expats residing in Spain are the worst perpetrators of welfare fraud of any expat community in the world.
But not for much longer.
Investigators from the department for Work and Pensions are planning to come down hard on these benefit cheats after receiving a huge number of allegations for fraud connected to Britons in Spain – primarily related to Income Support and Pension Credit.
People on means-tested benefits moving abroad without informing the authorities will be one group targeted.
The two other most common types of fraud which investigators intend to stamp out include those cases related to people who work while in receipt of sickness benefit and people who own property abroad which they haven’t declared.
A statement issued by Minister for Welfare Reform David Freud asserted that: ‘Taxpayers’ money should be going to the people who need it most, not lining the pockets of criminals. The vast majority of British people overseas are law abiding. But those who are fraudulently claiming benefits while living abroad are committing a crime. We are determined to put a stop to it.’
In other Expat news, UK expat Carmen Mcphee has become the first British woman to be elected as mayor of a Spanish town.
Although born in Bedfordshire Mcphee emigrated to Spain in her teenage years and became a sheep farmer. Now, at the age of 45, she has made history by being elected as the first UK-born mayor of Villaquejida, in the province of León.