A MAN became part of a Universal Credit scam which netted thousands of pounds all over the country.

Blackburn magistrates heard the loophole has now been plugged by the benefits agency but not before Jordan Chippendale had £4,475 paid into his bank account.

Chippendale, 27, of Blackburn Road, Accrington, pleaded guilty to retaining wrongful credits of £1,510 in November 2018, £1,517 in March 2019 and £1,447 in July 2019.

He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with 120 hours unpaid work and 10 days rehabilitation activity requirement. He was ordered to pay £85 costs and £90 victim surcharge.

The court was told the Department of Work and Pensions would make their own arrangements for recovering the money.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said the charges related to online applications for Universal Credit.

"People were actively engaged in setting up these claims to exploit a loophole that existed at the time," said Miss Allan.

"The defendant, and others, allowed their bank accounts and personal details be used."

Miss Allan said the claims were fraudulent from the outset.

"The loophole has now been closed," said Miss Allan.

Scott Parker, defending, said it was not the first case of its kind in East Lancashire and around the country.

"There have been a number of peoples' bank accounts used for this fraud," said Mr Parker.

"People, including my client, have paid half the money deposited to the person who set up the claims and exploited the loophole. My client didn't see the claims, he just provided his bank details."