Interesting court martial on the horizon, General in the dock.

Bit more evidence presented today

Prosecutor Sarah Clarke QC read to the court a series of messages from Mrs Welch to her friends, in which she suggests her husband's rank 'daunted' the anonymous complainer.

In one, she said: 'The saddest thing is that one of my London neighbours reported us.

'I have been away a lot recently so I have not been doing the coffee mornings and showing my face.

'I'm trying to put my feet in their shoes to understand why they have done it.

'Perhaps they are daunted by Nick's rank, all of their husbands are two or three ranks below.'

Another said: 'Nick has just been told about the small print in the latest Army regulations which say I can only be away from the house for 90 days so I have just had to dash back up here.'

She also said: 'I always thought that if Nick was not at home I didn't have to be there. I thought that spending weekends in Dorset was allowed.'

Maj Gen Welch (pictured) denies one count of fraud


+3
Maj Gen Welch (pictured) denies one count of fraud

Ms Clarke said the anonymous complaint had been filed to Army housing workers, questioning why the four-bedroom property was often empty 'at a time of housing austerity'.
Dobbed in by the Mrs' good pals in the coffee and biccies circuit. Perhaps she overdid the 'My Nick's a General, you know' bit. Wimmin, eh?
 
I don't recall anyone ever being offered a subsidy or top up for boarding school fees, not least because HMRC would certainly have looked for that to be on the P11D - and I'm not sure I understand how CEA has avoided being classed as a benefit in kind so far, come to that.
Towards the end of my time HMIT started to tax BSA (HM Inspector of Taxes and Boarding School Allowance) if the recipient was domiciled in UK. Personnel stationed abroad were not deemed to be liable. So an extra dollop of cash was paid to UK based claimants to compensate for the tax . I don’ t recall what we called the uplift.
 
IIRC Miss Sarah Clarke QC used to serve as a Judge Advocate.
And is reasonably easy on the eye too..... (but not quite ready for the Fit Birds in Uniform thread)
 

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Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Oh dear...
That’s extraordinary and the lack of self awareness is well, perhaps unsurprising in the circumstances. It would all have been fine if it wasn’t for those pesky kids.

However, I very much doubt it would be much different in other ‘equivalent’ parts of society, including some of the Islington ‘chattering classes’. Which is not to say it is acceptable.

Any casual wander through Arrse would show you that they should have known better - curtains twitch at every level and the politics of jealousy and envy abound - just like like real life.

In this case they seem to have been found out, and a good thing too.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Oh, sure - but that's usually individually negotiated with folk senior enough to be sent accompanied. The other point is that it's voluntary, I can think of more US folk (for example) who turned down an extended overseas deployment, even at career disadvantage, than took it up.

When sending UK-based folk overseas, it was a similar process. If they went accompanied, there'd be a package to take in the move, finding (and in some cases, paying for) accommodation and finding educational arrangements locally. Some deployments were delayed in order to accommodate school years. I don't recall anyone ever being offered a subsidy or top up for boarding school fees, not least because HMRC would certainly have looked for that to be on the P11D - and I'm not sure I understand how CEA has avoided being classed as a benefit in kind so far, come to that.
Well, our company experience is different, which is to be expected.
 
Bit more evidence presented today

Prosecutor Sarah Clarke QC read to the court a series of messages from Mrs Welch to her friends, in which she suggests her husband's rank 'daunted' the anonymous complainer.

In one, she said: 'The saddest thing is that one of my London neighbours reported us.

'I have been away a lot recently so I have not been doing the coffee mornings and showing my face.

'I'm trying to put my feet in their shoes to understand why they have done it.

'Perhaps they are daunted by Nick's rank, all of their husbands are two or three ranks below.'

Another said: 'Nick has just been told about the small print in the latest Army regulations which say I can only be away from the house for 90 days so I have just had to dash back up here.'

She also said: 'I always thought that if Nick was not at home I didn't have to be there. I thought that spending weekends in Dorset was allowed.'

Maj Gen Welch (pictured) denies one count of fraud


+3
Maj Gen Welch (pictured) denies one count of fraud

Ms Clarke said the anonymous complaint had been filed to Army housing workers, questioning why the four-bedroom property was often empty 'at a time of housing austerity'.
If anything that just further illustrates the stupidity of the rules.

How much time would “Nick” spend away from London, particularly at weekends? Surely he was a Whitehall warrior when this happened?
 
Any cases of spouses being prosecuted for conspiracy or similar in respect of CEA fraud!
Probably very hard to prove, they haven't signed anything and JSPs don't apply to them.
 
If anything that just further illustrates the stupidity of the rules.

How much time would “Nick” spend away from London, particularly at weekends? Surely he was a Main Building warrior when this happened?

I doubt very much anyone is going to quibble either way if someone was a few days over the 90 day limit, blatantly staying elsewhere for long periods of time is against the rules. The 90 day limit isnt there to catch people out if they have taken an extra weeks leave here or there. It there to stop piss takers living in their second home.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
If anything that just further illustrates the stupidity of the rules.

How much time would “Nick” spend away from London, particularly at weekends? Surely he was a Main Building warrior when this happened?
Ummm, probably most weekends? Unless he was on the VCDS ‘45 minute list’ or whatever it was called. I don’t recall many people sprinting for Dolphin Square on a Friday afternoon, especially at 2* and above.

Navy Rules abounded wherever possible.
 
Dobbed in by the Mrs' good pals in the coffee and biccies circuit. Perhaps she overdid the 'My Nick's a General, you know' bit. Wimmin, eh?

Its probably exactly that, if people keep their mouths closed about CEA and having a second home you are unlikely to be caught, start chopsing off and dont be to surprised if someone grasses you up.
 

9.414

War Hero
If anything that just further illustrates the stupidity of the rules.

How much time would “Nick” spend away from London, particularly at weekends? Surely he was a Main Building warrior when this happened?
If they were both away together riding their tandem (other pastimes are available) around the countryside and staying in B&B's from Friday evening to Monday at dawn every weekend, under the JSP it would count as time together even if they were away from the RWA, not part of the 90 days apart, as they have not set up an alternative residence. In the same way that leave together does not count against you.

However the problem is when the spouse is not in the RWA for the majority of the time. So SP joining the spouse for the weekend from Fri-Mon at their alternative residence does count against you.
 
You have the cart before the horse. Hefty jail time I agree with, but you have to have the evidence to get them convicted first. There is plenty of experience that shows that the rules are very badly monitored and it needs to be tightened up. When somebody comes a year or so after the event and says where was your spouse last March there are always problems trying to identify locations.

Actually I think it would work very well for leave courses and weekends away, as there would then be a certified contemporaneous record submitted at the time.

The point I was making is that you need to get good evidence, so a daily report certifying should be required. After all it is claiming about £50 per day. You have to certify that to claim a few pounds for HTD or PIE etc. So why not for this allowance?

If they were signing in everyday, you would still need to prove them committing fraud a year after the event.

As for leave, course etc, the record isnt supposed to show where the soldier is, it would be supposed to show where his wife is.

I assume you only claim the allowance once and thus sign for it once, why would you continue to sign everyday?
Sounds like a waste of time especially for those who arent thieving cnuts.
 
That’s extraordinary and the lack of self awareness is well, perhaps unsurprising in the circumstances. It would all have been fine if it wasn’t for those pesky kids.

However, I very much doubt it would be much different in other ‘equivalent’ parts of society, including some of the Islington ‘chattering classes’. Which is not to say it is acceptable.

Any casual wander through Arrse would show you that they should have known better - curtains twitch at every level and the politics of jealousy and envy abound - just like like real life.

In this case they seem to have been found out, and a good thing too.

If hes guilty, it might have nothing to do with jealousy or envy, just that hes a thieving **** and someone had the moral courage to bubble a Major General.
 

9.414

War Hero
If they were signing in everyday, you would still need to prove them committing fraud a year after the event.

As for leave, course etc, the record isnt supposed to show where the soldier is, it would be supposed to show where his wife is.

I assume you only claim the allowance once and thus sign for it once, why would you continue to sign everyday?
Sounds like a waste of time especially for those who arent thieving cnuts.
Well, for those who are on the straight and narrow they find no difficulty in claiming daily for their £5 here and there for subsistence or HTD.

I can't see any reason why a claimant cannot tick a box to confirm the days that the spouse is in the RWA as it is in effect a claim for £50-£100 per day. If there are few days away it will not be onerous, however those who are telling porkies it will be much easier to catch - and it might serve to deter fraud.
 
I hesitate to say this, but ”will no one think of the children?”. The whole reason for CEA is so that the kids can be educated without the disruption of service moves. it’s easy to see a situation where an individual is posted to say SHAPE for two years, the parents may decide to claim CEA and the kids get sent to Bryanston (private school in Blandford). Two years later, Pop is posted to Blandford Camp. I think there’s a phase-out of CEA, so the kids can finish their term/year. But then the kids have to go to a state school in Blandford, and perhaps be bullied for ”being Posh” or disadvantaged because of the change in curriculum.Kids got packed off to boarding school to begin with, then hoiked out, simply because of the Army’s posting policies. Not their fault at all.

I wonder if there’s a case to say “if you qualify for CEA, it will be for the remainder of their secondary education to A Levels”, and thus get rid of the risk of this kind of situation arising. All kinds of caveats could be put in place, such as “7 year time bar, you’re in for that long”, ORs must have 7 years left to serve, officers must be on Reg C, “you will NOT be posted within 50 miles of the childrens’ location”, annual performance standards to be met etc. I’m sure the Treasury would not like that too much, but then again the reputational damage to the Army caused by CMing a General is almost incalculable. It’s just not easily quantifiable in pounds Sterling, which is all they care about.

To be clear, I am not defending the guilty bastard, I am questioning whether the scheme could be better provisioned, so that it looks after the kids, which is what it is there for.

The C part of CEA is Continuity, it not there to prevent bullying or any of that bollocks, tens of thousands of kids move around the UK every year.
If I remember correctly the key part of the childs education, is 7th to 9th year, 10th to 11th and sixth form, those are the 3 times it would be detrimental to move them, there should never be an expectation to put them in at year 7 and then take it for granted that 7 years of mainly taxpayer funded private education is guaranteed.
 
Anyone who is ripping off CEA is doing so because they are a thieving ****, CEA doesn't make them commit fraud anymore than the PlayStations in the V&A store makes suppliers thieves.
Plenty of people resist the temptation. Although its not much of an excuse at least those that divorce/seperate can say they did it for the sake of their childs education, those who do it because they want their spouse to live in the family home cant claim the same. They arent being forced to give up CEA (like those who separate), they are willingly stealing from the military.
This. I wholly agree with @stacker1. I would rat on my best mate if he was fiddling CEA
 
Ummm, probably most weekends? Unless he was on the VCDS ‘45 minute list’ or whatever it was called. I don’t recall many people sprinting for Dolphin Square on a Friday afternoon, especially at 2* and above.

Navy Rules abounded wherever possible.
Sorry, should have been clearer. I wasn’t questioning their family weekend arrangements. She said she didn’t realise she had to be in London when Nick was away.

My point was that he wouldn’t be away much for work and probably never at a weekend.
 
Well, for those who are on the straight and narrow they find no difficulty in claiming daily for their £5 here and there for subsistence or HTD.

I can't see any reason why a claimant cannot tick a box to confirm the days that the spouse is in the RWA as it is in effect a claim for £50-£100 per day. If there are few days away it will not be onerous, however those who are telling porkies it will be much easier to catch - and it might serve to deter fraud.

I cant remember ever signing something every day for an allowance, If I was away for a month, I claimed it all back at once.

How will it be easier to catch them? The point is you need to track the spouse and generally the army cant (unless someone grasses them up). Ticking a box once a day will be no different than claiming CEA once a year.

Jail time is a better way to deter fraud.
 
If anything that just further illustrates the stupidity of the rules.

How much time would “Nick” spend away from London, particularly at weekends? Surely he was a Whitehall warrior when this happened?
As ACGS he would attend many, many army staff talks with NATO and other Allied Nations, and would carry out a lot of defence engagement activity. I briefed him just before he headed off on one such trip; seemed a decent chap
 
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