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Bolanle Shote, a 41 year old Essex woman and mother to three children lied to HMRC about her personal life, and made numerous false claims in order to receive more than £86,000 in tax credits. Shote had informed the revenue that she was a single parent, submitting claims for tax credits from February 2003 up to August 2012. However an investigation into her circumstances suggested that she had in fact been living with her partner for 10 years.

Senior manager, HMRC, Cheryl Turton 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 situations from her colleagues and her 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.”

On 21st November, Bolanle Shote pleaded guilty to 10 offences of dishonesty, and was sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on Friday 16th January, during which, His Honour Judge Graham stated:

“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.”