Although having such collection of properties, he claimed £73,000 in benefits over 8 years. He bought and renovated the residences, using the rent to cover their mortgages.
His lawyer plead that the benefits claimed were in order, due to the fact that eight years ago, Callen became a sole carer of his grandson and he was not able to work. At this time, he had no savings, properties or investments. However, not long afterwards he bought a house for £38,000 in Splott, Cardiff.
Over the next four years Callen continued to buy and restore a number of properties, while claiming to have only £250.00 in savings and no properties, except his home address. However, one of his tenants made a benefit claim and Callen`s actions have been revealed.
Judge Julian Lambert described these actions of Callen as “deliberate and greedy”.
The judge also told him: “You had a gross worth of hundreds of thousands of pounds.”What you did was deliberate and greedy. Yours was one of the worst types of this fraud. This behaviour makes honest folk who struggle to get by feel sick.”Your behaviour incites ill feeling towards genuine benefit claimants who deserve sympathy and compassion. Your claim was fraudulent from the outset.”
In defence Timothy Rose said: “He was mortgaged to the hilt, he still is, and now he’s in an utter mess as well.”It is estimated he owes up to £800,000 in mortgage debt, most of the properties are in negative equity and that’s the position investment speculations have left him in.”He’s being pursued by the bailiffs.”
He said Callen was “not a sophisticated man despite what he’s done”.
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