15 Dec 2017

Tax credit fraud investigator sentenced for tax credit fraud

A Co Antrim woman employed by HMRC to track down tax credit cheats has been handed a suspended jail sentence ... for stealing more than £34,000 in tax credits.

Laura Southern, 36, from Lisburn, worked as a benefits and credits compliance manager in Belfast until she was identified as having falsely claimed to be a single parent despite living with a partner.

She was interviewed by investigators in February in relation to providing false information to HMRC.

Southern, who had worked for HMRC for 16 years, was dismissed in August, having fraudulently claimed £34,209.44 in tax credits between 2012 and 2017.

Joff Parsons of HMRC said: “Southern was employed to track down people committing the very crime she has been convicted of. She knew exactly what she was doing and even though she knew it was wrong, thought she could get away with stealing tax credits she wasn’t entitled to. But her deceit was exposed and now she is paying the price.”

Southern appeared at Craigavon Crown Court and was given a 15-month prison sentence suspended for three years.


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