A former HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) employee, who lied about living with her partner to steal more than £40,000 in tax credits, has been given a suspended jail sentence.
Kay Maxwell, 37, of Mons Avenue, Hebburn, was a HMRC contact centre advisor in Newcastle and claimed to be living alone with her two children.
She was arrested in December 2016 after investigators found she was living with her partner and had provided false information to HMRC.
Maxwell, who was a HMRC employee for 13 years until her dismissal in February 2017, fraudulently claimed £43,631 in tax credits between 2011 and 2016.
She had two further children during this period but did not claim tax credits for them.
Maxwell admitted tax credits fraud at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court on 2 October 2017.
She was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, 20 days rehabilitation activity and 125 hours unpaid work, at Newcastle Crown Court.
Proceedings are underway to recover the stolen money.