Facebook pictures betray Liverpool benefit fraud couple

David Tracey's father Denis was also fined for benefit fraud.

A Liverpool couple who pretended to be landlord and tenant have been jailed after admitting fraudulently claiming benefits of more than £115,000.

Cheryl Patterson, 33, claimed her partner David Tracey, 36, was her landlord when they were living together and had a child together.

But pictures posted on Facebook of them on a £5,000 Caribbean cruise in 2011 showed they were a family unit.

The pair, both of Woolton, were jailed for 12 months at Liverpool Crown Court.

Sentencing them, Judge Robert Warnock said the pair were "motivated by personal greed and a desire for status".

Although they had a child and lived together on Mackets Lane, Woolton, the pair drew up fake tenancy agreements.

Patterson received £89,000 in income support, housing benefit, council tax benefit and child tax credit over a period of five years from 2007.

Father also fined

She admitted producing false statements, being knowingly concerned with fraudulent activity and dishonestly failing to notify of changes to circumstances.

Tracey, who fraudulently claimed £26,000 in benefits, admitted four counts of making and producing false statements.

The couple will be subject to a proceeds of crime hearing on 20 February also at Liverpool Crown Court.

Tracey's father Denis, who was the landlord of the couple's home and another property on the same street which he rented to his daughter, was also fined £2,000 at the same court for benefit fraud.

He admitted dishonestly receiving money when he knew his daughter was not living alone at his property, and for receiving housing benefits payments in error in relation to Patterson and his son's property and dishonestly failing to take steps to correct it.

He was overpaid by more than £14,000, which he has since paid back.

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