A fraudster has been jailed for scamming £32,000 in handouts after falsely telling benefits bosses she had split from her husband.
Investigators found out Elizabeth Hughes had posted “he’s the bestest husband” while claiming to be a single mum.
Hughes told the Department for Work and Pensions she had broken up with husband Arthur in January 2010. She kept up her lie until 2013 when she told them they had reconciled.
But in reality, they had been living as husband and wife under the same roof the entire time – with Hughes raking in tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money over the three-year period.
Childminder Hughes claimed she had struggled with financial issues and used the cash to cover debts. But investigators found debits from her bank accounts to travel firms and Facebook images of her with her husband and children on foreign holidays.
Fiscal depute Vicki Bell told Dundee Sheriff Court: “There was also a post on Facebook saying he was ‘the bestest husband’ posted during the period of the claim that she was single. Her husband was interviewed and initially said they had separated in 2009 but only reconciled late in 2012. But at the end of the interview, he said they had only separated for three or four months in 2009.
“He admitted he knew the accused had made a single person’s tax credit claim.
“A total of £32,000 was overpaid and no money has been repaid.”
Hughes, 36, from Dundee, pled guilty to a charge under the Tax Credits Act. Sheriff Alastair Carmichael jailed her for eight months.