Tax officer jailed for fleecing HMRC out of £86,000
A tax official who spent at least eight years illegally claiming more than £86,000 in benefits while employed by HM Revenue & Customs has been jailed for eight months.
Bolanle Shote, 41,went to “great lengths” to deceive colleagues in the tax office by claiming she was a single parent and entitled to tax credits, said HMRC, her now former employer.
But tax credits officers grew suspicious and found she made joint applications for a mortgage and a loan with her husband, during the period that she was meant to be a single parent.
Moreover, throughout that entire period - February 2003 to August 2012 – when she was receiving tax credits from HMRC, the-mother-of-three actually lived with her husband.
“She went to great lengths to hide her true situation from her colleagues and employer,” reflected Cheryl Turton, a senior manager at the Revenue.
“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.”
Going before Essex’s Basildon Crown Court last week, Shote was told by Judge Ian Graham that an immediate custodial sentence was his only option because she committed “fraud from the outset which continued for over eight years”.
She pleaded guilty to 10 offences of dishonestly claiming tax credits and has repaid the total amount she fraudulently claimed (£86,454,62) since losing her job at HMRC in 2013.