A MUM illegally claimed more than £20,000 in benefits after lying to authorities about being a single parent.
Barshank Khaleel, 33, made repeated claims that she was a lone parent with no income to support her child despite living with a partner who she later married. An investigation was launched after it became clear that her partner worked and lived with her at her home in Leeds.
Christopher Moran, prosecuting, said Khaleel made illegal claims for income support, housing and council tax benefits between October 2010 and 2013. Leeds Crown Court heard Khaleel left the country and went to Iraq after the offending came to light but was arrested when she returned to the UK.
Mr Moran said Khaleel’s offending was deliberate from the beginning as she was already living with her partner when she began making the claims.
Khaleel, now of Culmington Road, London, pleaded guilty to two offences of making a false statement to obtain benefits and one of failing to notify a change in circumstances. Stephen Welford, mitigating, said Khaleel was ashamed about her offending. He said Khaleel had so far repaid around £7,000 of the illegally claimed money and a plan was in place to pay it back in full.
Khaleel was given a four month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work. Judge Neil Clark said: “In reality you stole from taxpayers. That money is there for people who require it for genuine reasons.”