Showing posts with label child tax credit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label child tax credit. Show all posts

2 Oct 2018

Suspended sentence for repeat benefit fraud

A benefits fraudster who swindled the taxpayer out of nearly £24,000 after falsely claiming she was the main carer for her three children has escaped an immediate jail sentence. (h/t Dave)

Mother Tanya Palmer carried out her “unsophisticated offence doomed to fail” for five years between 2012 and 2017, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

"Unsophisticated" benefit fraud it may have been but it lasted for five years and netted nearly £24,000!

Prosecutor Tom Roberts said the 29-year-old was convicted of a similar offence in 2014 when she was sentenced to a community order for income support and housing benefit overpayments of £5,500.

So the child tax credit fraud was going on while she was convicted of the earlier offence but it wasn't admitted then.

He told the judge, Recorder Simon Foster, how Palmer, from Newport, had conned the state out of £23,934.47 during her latest scam.

She admitted three counts of fraudulently obtaining child tax credit. Mr Roberts said that her children had been removed from her care.

He added that no application was being made to recover the money under the Proceeds of Crime Act as it would be a “waste of time”.

Ben Waters, mitigating for his client, said Palmer had recently been homeless and suffered from “anxiety and depression”. He added that her latest con trick was an “unsophisticated offence doomed to fail”.

Mr Waters said the money “was not used to fund a lavish lifestyle” but had been spent to satisfy the heroin addiction of a former partner who was now serving a lengthy prison sentence. He told the judge that Palmer should be allowed maximum credit after she admitted the offences at an early stage.

Recorder Foster told the defendant: “You have pleaded guilty to very serious offences to swindle the taxpayer out of many thousands of pounds.”

But he said he would not be imposing an immediate jail sentence as she had made “significant progress” to free herself of her own heroin use, was no longer homeless and was in a stable relationship with a new partner.

The judge added that she was “extraordinarily fortunate” not be going straight to jail.

She will serve eight months in prison, suspended for two years, and was also sentenced to a 12-day rehabilitation activity requirement, 150 hours of unpaid work and a £140 victim surcharge.