Woman pretended to be a single mother in order to defraud £97k while secretly living with her spouse.


Woman pretended to be a single mother in order to defraud £97k while secretly living with her spouse.

Mum-of-four Claire Finney, 41, was spared prison after admitting to filing a series of benefits claims despite living with a man who was responsible for her and her family. After stating she was living alone but actually living with her partner, a benefits cheat raked in nearly £100,000 and went on five-star holidays to Cyprus.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Claire Finney, 41, falsely claimed £97,000 in rewards over a five-year period.

However, an inquiry by HMRC, the Department for Work and Pensions, and Salford City Council caught the mother-of-four out.

Finney had previously pleaded guilty to four counts of failing to submit material to appropriate bodies to whom she was legally required at Manchester Crown Court. She was given a suspended prison sentence the other day.

Finney shared a house with Joseph Perry, who was said to be her lover from April 2014 to July 2019, according to prosecutor Eleanor Gleeson.

She claimed to be a single parent in her tax credit forms, but she forgot to mention that she was living with Mr Perry at the time.

When she was apprehended and questioned, she admitted that she had “inflated child care costs for financial gain” and that every tax-credit annual renewal claim was false because Mr Perry continued to live with her. She also admitted that she had not worked since she began claiming in 2009 and that she had “inflated child care costs for financial gain.”

Finney, of Chelmer Way, Eccles, was needed to confirm her renewal for the previous tax year over the phone on August 5, 2015.

Despite the fact that Mr Perry was living with her and supporting the family, she kept her single status.

“Investigations revealed that both the defendant and Mr Perry have been jointly liable for council tax on the address since 2011,” Ms Gleeson said.

“Tax credits totaling £38,007.27 were due to the defendant. She did, in fact, file a claim for £117,871.68. As a result, she received £79,864.61 in tax credit overpayments throughout that time period.” In March 2016, Finney filed an application for income support with the DWP, claiming she had stopped working, divorced her boyfriend, and was a single mom. The court heard that she was overpaid £8,406.40.

Finney also applied for housing benefit from Salford City Council, claiming to be a single parent once more. £3,446.25 was paid to her in error.

She applied for universal credit on February 19, 2019, but was denied. The news is summarized by Brinkwire.


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