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A woman who didn't declare she had re-married after the death of her late husband, and went onto steal nearly £103,000 in benefits has been jailed for four months.
51 year old Elaine Kingstone from Southminster claimed Widowed Parents Allowance of £33,787 from November 2005 to July 2012, and also claimed Tax Credits of £68,877 April 2008 to April 2013, stating she was a lone parent.
However, she failed to advise she had re-married in May 2006 and was no longer entitled to claim any benefits.
The fraud was uncovered during a joint investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Department for Work and Pensions.
Andrew Farrar, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:
"Kingstone continued claiming Widowed Parents Allowance even though she had re-married along with Tax Credits pretending to be alone parent. Her claims were a complete lie. She was only interested only in lining her own pockets and knew exactly what she was doing when she claimed benefits to which she was not entitled.
"We recognise it is only a minority that are exploiting the system but would encourage anyone with information relating to tax credit fraud to call the Benefits Anti-Fraud Helpline on 0800 854 440 in total confidence."