Cancer con mum could face extra prison time if she does not pay £16,000 back to state
An extra nine months in prison could be on the cards for a Gloucestershire mother who pretended her son had cancer to claim benefits.
The woman from the Stroud area netted £85,000 in benefits she was not entitled to, Gloucester Crown Court heard. The 36-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, shaved her son's head and eyebrows and forged doctors' notes to make it look like he was being treated for cancer.
Now she must pay back more than £16,000 in two months or face extra prison time on top of the three years and nine months she is already serving.
She has two months to pay the cash back to the state under the Proceeds of Crime Act. More than £4,000 of it will go to HM Revenues and Customs and almost £12,000 will go to the Department for Work and Pensions.
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Prosecutor Julian Kesner told the court financial investigators found that the £16,000 is all that's left of the money and is in a frozen bank account. The court also heard references to vehicles and a canal boat but Mr Kesner said prosecutors were not seeking to seize them because "they have been explained away".
The court previously heard the mum sent her son to school in a wheelchair and wearing a bandana. She kept up the facade for nearly three years, until his father became suspicious and went to the doctor. The woman later admitted one count of child cruelty, eight of fraud and one of forgery.
The woman falsely claimed disability living allowance, carer's allowance and child tax credits.