A4e staff jailed for DWP back-to-work training fraud

Six employees at a back-to-work recruitment company have been jailed for a fraud that saw them falsely claim almost £300,000.

They worked for Action 4 Employment (A4e) which helped people gain training to get into work.

They made up files, forged signatures and falsely claimed they had helped people find jobs, enabling them to hit targets and gain government bonuses.

Four more employees received suspended sentences.

Following a 13-week trial at Reading Crown Court, four people were found guilty of taking part in the fraud in January. Six others previously admitted their part, and a further three were acquitted.

Prosecutor Sarah Wood said between them they created 167 false claims which cost the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), which contracted A4e to carry out the work, £288,595.

Some falsified files using the names of family members, while others offered bribes in the form of vouchers to get people to fill out false forms, the court heard.

Read the rest of this BBC story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-32139244

Heart attack victim was told he must attend work scheme… as he lay in hospital

Agency called Colin Rogers as he lay waiting for a bypass operation in Broadgreen Hospital

DAYS after suffering a major heart attack and as he lay in a hospital bed wired to monitors facing a bypass operation, a Wirral dad was phoned and told he must continue a government work programme.

Colin Rogers, 58, from Irby, had been admitted to Arrowe Park Hospital and then transferred to Broadgreen, in Liverpool, after suffering chest pains. His wife, Carol, said she was later told he was moments from death as his heart failed and then specialists said he must undergo a quadruple heart bypass operation after he was taken ill on September 27.

Yet, days later – despite his wife informing the Job Centre of her husband’s condition and asking that this be passed on – as he lay in bed in hospital he received a call about his place on the Government’s Work Programme, delivered by public services company A4e. Colin, who had worked for Champion Spark Plugs until the factory closed and he was made redundant, was told by a manager from A4e that he was committed to the work programme he had been signed up and would have to continue it.

Colin, who came out of hospital a few days ago, said: “I couldn’t believe that they were ringing me because I had given my wife a list of people who needed to be told and she had contacted the Job Centre and told them A4e needed to be informed what had happened to me. So I was completely shocked and I said to the guy I couldn’t believe he was phoning me, that he was supposed to have been told that I had a heart attack.

“This guy was persisting about wanting to discuss the next plan of action but I said I was ending the conversation and put the phone down.”

Colin said within minutes of this a nurse, who had noticed his heart monitor, came and asked if there was a problem, but Colin said: “I didn’t want to say anything because I was embarrassed I was being phoned up like that.” He added: “But I was disgusted with what had happened. I want to work, but all I seem to be doing is fighting these people.”

Carol said: “He was not supposed to be stressed. It’s been horrendous, Even though my doctor said he may never work again, they are saying to us he has to finish the back to work programme.”

A spokeswoman for DWP said correct procedures had been followed. A spokeswoman for A4e said: “The telephone call that was made to Mr Rogers had been pre-arranged two months earlier, and when we rang him, we were unaware he had been taken seriously ill and was in hospital. The conversation was very brief and as soon as we realised Mr Rogers was in hospital, we ended the call. All correct procedures were followed, and no further contact has been made.”

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/heart-attack-victim-told-must-8002119

“A4e hassled my brother literally to his death”

Work Programme Provider A4E is harassing  people who have been signed off their services..

From the Facebook page ‘Atos Miracles’

“Asked on here before about this…son in support group but was on work programme. A4e keep ringing him to “see how he is”. I spoke to cab and they said he has no obligation to (participate in the ) work programme so i rang A4e to tell them that. She said they have a duty of care n i said well your letters and phone calls are stressing him so she agreed to check into it. Another letter has arrived and they want to phone him next week and it states he has to let them know if he cant be available. Harrasment? He is on the autistic spectrum and any stress affects him terribly.

*(comment)  I imagine they get paid every time they send a letter or make a phone call. If so we could be looking at outright organised fraud, in the same way they defrauded the government by claiming for tagging people who had long since been released from their tagging order. I wonder if anyone is investigating this?                                       
*(comment)    If these people could just read a pamphlet about the autistic spectrum they may be a little less clueless. They probably don’t ‘believe’ it exists. What a waste of time and money to the public purse and of course how upsetting for you both. Xx
*(comment)  I’m in the support group was in the Wrag group and I’ve started getting calls from the work program people too. I told the woman to leave me alone and if she carried on phoning me I’d report her for harassment and also told her I would speak to my mental health support worker about it. I blocked her number from calling also.
*(comment)   My son’s autistic, has to do free work placements in factories or they stop his money. He signs on weekly he gets dla but only a low rate is classed fit for work. They don’t seem to understand he has trouble communicating and understanding people
*(comment)   If anyone is distressing and alarming him, then call the police and start legal proceedings against A4e. They will soon stop. Also contact your local councillor and MP.
*(comment)  It’s harassment . If he’s in a support group they can’t do this. He will be heading straight for meltdown territory if they keep this up. Time to threaten with legal action under the DDA??
*(comment)  You look at your bank account to find there was no payment… You ring dwp to be told ‘we tried to contact you to ask you to attend x meeting, when you didn’t turn up your benefits were withdrawn.. You will have to start a new claim’
*(comment)   I still recieve letters from them even though I’ve been in the support group for over a year. Stressed me out as they kept threatening sanctions if i didnt go.Even though my Dad called them to explain & ask them to stop they wont.

*(comment) According to the dwp if you are in the support group A4E cant do anything. They told me to ignore their letters,which we have,& i still get my esa,& haven’t been sanctioned x
*(comment)   My friend had same problem with A4e, job centre told him he was under no obligation with them so he told them to stick it!! They hassle you because they get paid!!
*(comment) I was at A4E yesterday the bloke as good as told me they pester people like hell because they (A4E) don’t get paid otherwise
*(comment) A4e hassled my brother literally to his death

 

From the Facebook page ‘Atos Miracles, 13th March 2013

Is A4E using disabled people to scam the government?

From the facebook page ‘Atos miracles’ 22nd Jan 2014

“Had an issue with A4E Northampton recently. My mother is in the ESA support Group. Previously  she was in the Work Related Activity Group, so she so had to keep regular appointments with them before she was put in the Support Group. She was being contacted a couple of times a week and basically being harassed to come in for meetings under the lie of legislation (and a lot of legal jargon). After checking with the Department of Work and Pensions ESA dept we was told that no legislative reasons existed so A4E was asked to stop contacting my mum as she could not return to work so had no need for their services. They continued to phone twice a week and asked her to keep telephone appointments which were also asked to stop. They didn’t so I emailed them explaining that if they continued I would contact the police under the malicious communications act. Only then did they say they would look into it.

This went on for nearly 5 months and the only reason I can believe this went on for so long was money, A4E receives money for each person on their books so obviously they dont want certain people to go as this affects their government funding. This is a disgusting practice and after reading up on A4E discovered that they have had employee fraud, numerous complaints, reports of mismanagement the list goes on. How can this firm continue to get away with threatening behavior and treating vulnerable people as cash cows?”

(Edited slightly to make this more legible. Opinions stated are those of the original poster)