Sunderland mum admits £30k benefit fraud at crown court

She appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.
She appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.

A businesswoman who boosted her family income in a £30,000 housing benefit fraud has been spared jail.

Diljinder Nqhal claimed the tenant of a property owned by her husband was a total stranger - when in reality the resident was her own mother.

As a result, housing benefit of £31,929 was paid, which the family would otherwise not have been entitled to.

Nqhal, 37, of The Square, Sunderland, admitted two benefit fraud charges relating to two separate, fraudulent forms she filled in over an eight year period between 2007 and 2015.

Prosecutor Gavin Doig told Newcastle Crown Court: "The landlord was married to the tenant's daughter.

"This claim was fraudulent from the outset."

Judge Robert Adams sentenced the married mum, who runs her own business, to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

The judge told her: "You suggested the landlord and tenant were unrelated.

"Bearing in mind the landlord is your husband, you knew that to be untrue.

"You knew at the outset this was dishonest.

"You will be punished, in my view, by the fact you have lost your good name and you now have convictions for dishonesty on your record."

Tony Cornberg, defending, said Nqhal has saved £25,000 and has vowed to pay back the full amount still outstanding.

Mr Cornberg added: "She has to live her life with the shame of this conviction."

"This is not the sort of person likely to do anything like this ever again."