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Joined: 09/03/2009

A mother who faked her children’s disabilities to steal £112,000 in tax credits which she spent on tickets to see boy bands and stars of the X Factor was jailed for two years today.


Jayne McKnight, 45, from Wolverhampton, began claiming tax credits in 2003, stating that one of her four children was severely disabled. During the course of the fraud she increased this to three severely disabled children, and added a severely disabled and unemployed husband, whilst claiming she was working part-time for a temping agency. At the same time, McKnight claimed thousands of pounds in childcare and after-school club costs.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigators uncovered neither her children nor her husband were disabled. Mr McKnight was in fact employed by a local newspaper, and the temping agency where Jayne McKnight claimed to be employed had never heard of her. Finally, she had never even contacted any of the childcare providers she claimed tax credits for, and her children had never attended any after-school clubs.

David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“The Government will not tolerate dishonest people stealing public money which pays for vital services. Those who think they can cheat the benefits system should think again. The extra £900m we have invested in HMRC allows them to step up the fight against benefit cheats and tax fraudsters.”

Notes to editors

1. Defendant’s details:
* Jayne McKnight, DOB 9/2/1966, of 107 Owen Road, Wolverhampton, pleaded guilty to being knowingly concerned in fraudulent activity with a view to obtaining payments of Tax Credits contrary to Section 35 of the Tax Credit Act 2002.
2. Sentencing took place at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
3. The fraud took place from 2003 – 2010.<