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Tax credit fraudster jailed

Press Release   •   Aug 05, 2013 15:50 BST

A former civil servant from West London has been jailed for 12 months for tax credits fraud of nearly £56,000.

Frances Cole, 49, made fraudulent tax credits claims worth £55,185 while working as an administrative officer for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Cole claimed that she was a lone parent between April 2003 and July 2012, but was living with her husband throughout. She also failed to declare all her income between April 2008 and March 2010.

Joff Parsons, Senior Manager, Internal Governance, HMRC, said:

“Cole abused her position of trust, deliberately attacking and abusing a system designed to provide financial help to the most vulnerable people in our society. HMRC is committed to the highest level of integrity and we take the strongest possible action against the tiny minority who let us all down by falling short of those standards.”

Cole was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court, having admitted tax credits fraud.

Notes for editors

1. Frances Cynthia Cole, DOB 02.11.63, of Heathstan Road, London, was an administrative officer with HMRC until 2012.

2. Cole was charged with three offences of being knowingly concerned in fraudulent activity undertaken with a view to obtaining payments of tax credits contrary to section 35 (1) of the Tax Credits Act 2002.

3. She pleaded guilty to all three charges at Isleworth Crown Court on 8 July 2013 and was sentenced on 5 August 2013.

4. Anyone with information about people committing this type of fraud should call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440.

5. Follow HMRC on Twitter @hmrcgovuk

6. HMRC’s flickr channel

Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.