Tayside and Central Scotland

Benefit fraudster caught out by Facebook holiday photo

Elizabeth Hughes Image copyright Supplied
Image caption Elizabeth Hughes posted the photo with her husband Arthur while claiming the couple had separated

A £32,000 benefit fraudster who posted a Facebook holiday photo with her husband while claiming to be a single mother has been jailed for eight months.

Elizabeth Hughes told the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) she had broken up with her husband in 2009.

She fraudulently claimed the benefits before telling the DWP they had reconciled in 2013.

Investigators found posts on Facebook describing her "bestest" husband.

Dundee Sheriff Court was told that none of the money had been repaid.

Depute fiscal Vicki Bell told Dundee Sheriff Court: "An investigation revealed there had never been a separation.

"Joint bank accounts operated with his salary being paid in and joint expenses going out.

"Holiday payments, TV licence and other household expenses were paid jointly.

"Her Facebook page had a photo of them on holiday together during the period of the claim.

"There was also a post on Facebook saying he was 'the bestest husband' posted during the period of the claim that she was single."

Hughes, 36, of Dundee, pleaded guilty to a charge under the Tax Credits Act.

Defence solicitor Larry Flynn said: "She is realistic enough to know that the starting point here will be custody."

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael told Hughes: "I regret that I don't think there's any other way of dealing with this.

"This was a fraud of £32,000 of public money."

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