I was shocked today to read that BBC Rogue Traders’ Dan Penteado has admitted benefit fraud by claiming over £24,000 in benefits from 2007 through to 2011. The news article says Dan was paid more than £56,000 for his work on Rogue Traders from 2008 to 2011 which he never notified the council about.
Anyone that has claimed housing and/or council tax benefits will know that the form is very exacting and requires a lot of supporting evidence to be supplied. It’s not an easy form to complete, nor is it easy to ‘cheat’. It is also a demoralising form to complete, as is claiming any state benefit, often the people whose job it is to process these claims have developed a hardened attitude to claimants which can be upsetting for anyone with a genuine claim. Is it because of the many false claims these people process that makes them view everyone with the same attitude, that as far as they are concerned everyone is ‘tarred with the same brush’? Claiming any benefit is a demoralising process which, due to the recession, many more people are finding out.
So why am I shocked? After all so many people do make false benefit claims, many, many get away with it.
It’s because, during those years of his claim, Dan was the trusted sidekick to Matt Allwright in a show that confronted cheats and scammers in Britain resulting in several convictions against these cheats. Dan was part of a team that sought out cheats and brought them to justice! Surely he knew this would happen sooner or later? I’m shocked because someone that I considered one of the ‘Good Guys’ has fallen from grace.