4 Nov 2013

Jail eventually for benefit thief mother

A married mother who lied about being a single parent to fraudulently claim £96,000 has been jailed for 10 months.

Lisa Lay, from Ascot, failed to disclose her husband’s income on her tax credits claims between 2003 and 2011, telling HMRC she had been separated from her husband since 1998.

When the former civil servant was arrested in 2011 she told HMRC investigators she was separated from her husband and that he had been living with her parents and parents-in-law.

She added she had not told her family they were no longer a couple.

How likely is that?

However, HMRC collected evidence including photos of family holidays that proved they had been together throughout her claim.

Lay initially denied fraud, but admitted the charge on the first day of her trial at Reading Crown Court.

Judge Angela Morris said:
This was fraudulent from the outset. These benefits were not being used for necessities; benefits are there for people who need them and not for going on holiday. People who choose to defraud the benefit system must be marked by an immediate custodial sentence.
Lay was jailed for 10 months after admitting fraudulently receiving £95,947 between 2003 and 2011.

Note she was arrested in 2011 but the case only came to court in October 2013.

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