Ex-HMRC employee jailed for tax credits deception

A former HMRC employee – who fraudulently claimed over £86,000 in tax credits – has been jailed for eight months.

Bolanle Shote, from Basildon in Essex, made multiple false claims about her personal circumstances so she could receive higher payments.

The 41-year-old had told the tax authority that she was a single parent, but officials became suspicious after discovering that Shote had made a joint mortgage application.

A subsequent investigation revealed that she had in fact been living with her partner for around a decade and she was charged with ten counts of dishonesty last year.

Cheryl Turton, senior manager at HMRC said: “Tax credits are designed to support those hard-working families who most need extra financial support.

“What makes this fraud even more despicable is that Shote was employed by HMRC and knew full well that lying about her personal circumstances was fraud. She went to great lengths to hide her true situation from her colleagues and employer.

“Offences of this nature are taken very seriously by HMRC and now she has lost her job, her good name and has a criminal record.”

Sentencing Shote at Basildon Crown Court, His Honour Judge Graham said: “This was a fraud from the outset which continued for over eight years and this, together with the amount involved, means that I have no option but to impose an immediate custodial sentence.”

Shote repaid the total sum that she had fraudulently claimed prior to sentencing.

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