An investigation has revealed that people who claim to be victims of sexual abuse are keeping compensation funded by the taxpayer even when their allegations are proven to be false.
The Telegraph reports that the man who claimed Field Marshall Lord Bramall and former home secretary Lord Brittan were in a paedophile ring kept the £50,000 he received from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (Cica), despite the allegation proving false.
The man known as Nick is currently under police investigation due to the false claims. Bramall's friend has said: "Nick has been exposed as a complete fantasist. It is outrageous that the compensation money has not been clawed back. The whole thing is completely mad.”
Another man who made a rape claim which led to an innocent fire brigade chief being jailed has also reportedly been able to keep the £11,000 he was given.
Ministers have now launched another investigation on why this compensation is not being paid back to authorities, as critics claim this issue has encouraged many false claims.
Cica has said it has a team which investigates fraudulent claims and passes these issues to the police, however it has been criticised for not having an easy process in place to take money back from those it has already paid out to.
Money can currently be handed out to alleged victims whether or not the perpetrator has been convicted, or even found. The amount paid out is dependent upon the severity of the crime.
In response to The Telegraph's investigation, justice minister Dr Phillip Lee said: “It is vital that the public can have absolute confidence in the system. We will investigate these claims fully and will not hesitate to take action if evidence of wrongdoing is uncovered.”
The Conservative chairman of the all-party Commons Justice Committee has said he will discuss the problem with the group when it meets again later this month.
Bob Neill added: “It is quite wrong that it should be so easy for people to be paid compensation on the basis of something that has not been tested and proved, and even worse that nothing is done to get that money back if the allegations prove to be false."
Cica has insisted that it does everything it can to take back money paid out wrongly and has not commented on specific cases, nor did it reveal the extent of the issue.