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Taxpayers Money: Benefits cheat mother of four stole £27,000 while having £40,000 in savings

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Mother-of-four Abida Khan had almost £40,000 savings yet claimed income support housing benefit and council tax relief after falsely declaring she had only £650 in the bank.

She was overpaid almost £30,000 before being caught in an investigation by the Department of Work and Pensions.

The fraudulent claims began after Khan, 52, split up with her husband, Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard.

Giving evidence, Khan told how she moved to the UK in 1991 after an arranged marriage but separated in 2011.
Teeside Magistrates Court

Mrs Khan told Teeside Magistrates Court she thought the money belonged to her children
I didn’t know the accounts were in my name, they belonged to my children. I only had one bank account which belonged to myself
ABIDA KHAN

She is the sole carer of their children, aged 20, 18, 13 and 12 – two of whom have a sight disability.

Khan, of Darlington Road, Stockton, wept as she was found guilty after trial of making false claims relating to income support, housing benefit and council tax dating back to July 2011.

Anne Mitchell, prosecuting, said: “The claim for income support was stopped when the defendant failed to provide information regarding a second property.

“She was also in receipt of housing benefit and council tax for herself and her four children on the basis she did not have capital over the applicable threshold.”

However evidence showed Khan had £37,438 saved in accounts which she had failed to declare. She was overpaid a total of £27,142.11.

“That is a lot of money, isn’t it?” Miss Mitchell asked the defendant who claimed the money she was receiving belonged to her children.

“Yes, because I was saving it for a long time for my children,” Khan told the court.

“I didn’t know the accounts were in my name, they belonged to my children. I only had one bank account which belonged to myself.”

When asked whether she failed to declare the other 12 bank accounts because it would affect her qualification for benefits she replied, “No, I can say on oath I did not know anything about this.

“It took me 20 years to add up this money, which I thought belonged to my children and that one day they would be able to use it.”