A mother-of-eight has been jailed for four years after being found guilty of fraudulently receiving £10,000 a month in benefits and tax credits by claiming some of her children had disabilities and conditions.
A judge said Amanda Webber, 43, who was responsible for one of the biggest single benefit fraud overpayments ever recorded as she had received £353,000 over 12 years.
She fooled authorities by making claims on the basis that five of her eight children suffered various disabilities and conditions which affected their care and mobility needs, a five-week trial at Brighton Crown Court heard.
In sentencing Judge Anthony Niblett said Webber and her family had at one point an income of more than £10,000 a month.
Prosecutors said that despite their reputed health problems, the children led active lives, taking part in PE classes and activities including music, drama and dance without difficulties – and some auditioned for ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent.
The court heard that between July 2007 and April 2008, the Webbers were receiving £10,148.91 tax-free a month.
This included £474.50 each for three of the children per month for mobility and care allowance, plus an extra £446.55 monthly care allowance for one of them.
Other children were awarded £261.08 and £353.60 per month in care and mobility allowance.
Mr Webber, who has since split from his wife, was receiving £1,911 per month in income support and £474.50 disability living allowance for diabetes and arthritis.
The family also received £445.47 a month in child benefit and £2,000 per month for housing benefit.
They were also awarded an average of £2,600 per month in tax credits.
Andrew Evans QC, told the jury that Webber had ‘spotted weaknesses in the system and exploited them to her advantage