£20,000 benefit fraudster ordered to pay back cash
A £20,000 benefit fraudster who went on foreign holidays with her husband while claiming to be a single mother has been given a community sentence.
Elizabeth Moir, 52, told the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) she had split from her husband Ian in 2010.
But neighbours told investigators that the couple were still living together with their children.
At Dundee Sheriff Court, she was told to pay back the full sum and sentenced to 240 hours of unpaid work.
Moir, of Dundee, also was given two years' supervision and placed on a restriction of liberty order confining to her home on an electronic tag from 19:00 to 07:00 every day for 12 weeks.
She admitted a charge under the Tax Credits Act committed between October 2010 and August 2013.
Solicitor advocate Kris Gilmartin, defending, said: "She's been a law-abiding, pro-social person and in employment until ill-health hit her.
"Her husband left and then returned over a period of time.
"She has not informed the benefits agency that he was back.
"She has committed an offence and requires to be punished."
Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC told Moir: "You have pled guilty to a serious offence - it is a lot of money to defraud DWP of and I take a very serious view of it.
"The appeal courts have made it clear for this amount of money the court should look at a significant amount of time in custody.
"But in your case there are exceptional circumstances and I can step away from that."