Milton Keynes mum lied about single status to claim benefits

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A greedy mum pocketed a massive £95,000 worth of benefits after failing to declare her boyfriend had moved in with her.

Amanda Smeaton has now been given a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for one year.

A district judge sitting at MK Magistrates court heard how the 46-year-old claimed a string of benefits on the basis that she was a single mum with low earnings.

She was paid tax credits, council tax benefit and housing benefit over a five year period.

But all the time she was living with her partner, Glen Harwood, who was bringing in wages from a full time job, MK magistrates court heard last week.

Ms Smeaton had denied she was cohabiting, and said Mr Smeaton was a “family friend” of no fixed abode.

In a prosecution carried out by the Department of work and Pensions, she pleaded guilty to three counts of fraudulent activity through failing to disclose her domestic situation.

A district judge heard the case because he has a greater power of sentencing than the magistrates.

He heard the fraud continued for five years until June 2015.

Like all claimants, Smeaton had a legal duty to declare her true circumstances and to notify the benefit agencies of any change of circumstances, say the DWP.

On top of the 12 month suspended sentence, she was ordered to carry out community service.

A spokesman for DWP told the Citizen: “We take all allegations of benefit fraud seriously and, where appropriate, will prosecute those who commit benefit fraud.”