Following an HMRC investigation a West Midlands woman, Kerry Melia, a mother of six, has been send to prison for eight months for tax credit fraud. She wrongly claimed in excess of £62,000 in tax credits by fraudulently claiming for nine fictitious children. The woman first claimed tax credits for her five children in 2005 (she subsequently had another child).
From 2007 onwards, she began adding fictitious children to her claim, stating that she was their foster mother. She then unsuccessfully attempted to add another six non-existent children.
David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:
‘The government will not tolerate dishonest people stealing public money which pays for vital services. This sentence shows that those who think they can cheat the benefits system should think again. The extra £900m we have invested in HMRC will allow them to carry on the fight against benefit cheats and tax fraudsters.’
Internet link: Press release
Posted – 01/08/2011