Hayes woman fraudulently claimed £160k
45-year-old sentenced to prison and will have to repay cash on release
A HAYES woman has been jailed for 12 months after she fraudulently claimed over £160,000 worth of income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit.
She was eventually caught thanks to an anonymous tip-off.
Martine Welland, of Phelps Way, was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on Wednesday (October 12) after pleading guilty to two counts of dishonestly failing to notify a change of entitlement to social security over a period of 12 years.
The 45-year-old was claiming Income Support from November 1998 and housing/council tax benefit from March 2003 on the basis she was a single parent who was not working, and had no income other than child benefit.
A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Fraud and Error Service investigation was launched after an anonymous allegation was made over the internet.
Enquiries found Welland was not entitled to benefits from March 2002 to June 2014 because she was living with her husband.
During an interview under caution with the DWP she told authorities the man she was living with was her step-brother.
The total amount fraudulently claimed was £102,701.24 of Income Support, housing benefit of £51,241.35, and £9,050.80 of council tax benefit – a total of £162,993.40.
Welland will be forced to repay the money on her release from prison.