HMRC Employee Sentenced for False Childcare Claims
An HMRC helpline worker has admitted to fraud which involved her roping in her 60-year-old mother to help her falsify more than £30,000 in claims for childcare costs.
Suzanne Wilson used her mother, Karen Wilson, a registered childminder, to fabricate letters and produce false accounting documents backing up her claims for hundreds in childcare costs each week.
HMRC discovered the fraud upon analysis of Wilson’s bank account, where they discovered she received a £16,000 salary yet claimed to pay more than £100 each week, The Journalreported.
Wilson was found to have claimed £15,600 during 2009, when she earned only £16,630.
Prosecutor Jolyon Perks told the Newcastle Crown Court that Wilson – who had worked for HMRC for six years – had ‘grossly inflated’ her childcare costs.
‘Suzanne Wilson was claiming money for childcare which she knew was not being undertaken,’ he said.
‘It’s a basic crime and it doesn’t require intimate knowledge of how the system works. It came to HMRC’s attention because she was making massive payments in childcare that were above what was her income.
‘Her mother came into the equation later in the investigation because, the fraud having being discovered, she contacted Suzanne on several occasions and she produced false documents and accounting records which supported Suzanne’s assertion that she was paying childcare payments to her mother,’ Perks said.
A probe into Wilson’s account also revealed a second scam – the mother of Karen Wilson’s granddaughter, Ann-Marie Hall, had also claimed costs from HMRC asserting that Karen Wilson also cared for her child.
All three have admitted to the fraud offences.
Judge Michael Cartlidge handed down a 12-month suspended sentence to Suzanne Wilson, saying the public would be ‘appalled’ by the huge sums she had stolen.
She was also ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.
Karen Wilson was given a nine-month suspended sentence and 120 hours of unpaid work.
In mitigation, Anne-Marie Hall’s legal representative, Caroline Goodwin, said her client had relied on the proceeds of the fraud to support her child since her partner failed to provide support.