Leeds fraudster’s £20,000 ‘single mum’ lie

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A woman dishonestly claimed more than £20,000 in benefits by claiming she was a single mum despite living with her husband.

Joanne Frankland, 31, carried out the deception for four years, claiming job seekers’ allowance, housing and council tax benefit which she was not entitled to.

Frankland, of Claremont Place, Armley, began the offending in 2009.

Rukshanda Hussain, prosecuting, said Frankland married her husband in October 2010 but failed to inform authorities of her change in circumstances.

Leeds Crown Court heard investigators obtained evidence to show she was illegally claiming benefits, including a marriage certificate which showed she shared the same address as her partner.

A copy of his wage slip also revealed his salary was being paid directly into her bank account.

Frankland refused to admit what she had done when interviewed and challenged investigators to prove that she had broken the law.

A judge described her behaviour as “manipulative and dishonest.”

Mother-of-two Frankland pleaded guilty to three offences of benefit fraud.

Simon Alexander, mitigating, said the offending took place at a time when Frankland’s relationship with her partner was “toxic”. He said it had been an on-off relationship and she did not stop claiming benefits due to the financial uncertainties.

She was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years. She was also ordered to 240 hours of unpaid work.

Donna Coulling

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