1. ITV Report

Couple claimed £43,000 in benefits but had £256,000 in the bank

A wealthy couple claimed more than £43,000 in benefits while having a small fortune in the bank, Cardiff Crown Court has heard.

Fraudsters Edwin and Lynda Brain. Credit: Wales News Service

Fraudsters Edwin and Lynda Brain profited from housing benefits and pension credits during a time when £256,000 was paid into family bank accounts.

But the pensioners kept their healthy bank balance secret as they cheated the taxpayer for seven years.

Brain, 68, and his 71-year-old wife, from Pencoed near Bridgend, pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud.

He was jailed for 12 months and his wife given a suspended sentence.

Edwin Brain was jailed for 12 months. Credit: Wales News Service

Prosecutor Patrick Llewelyn said that the funds of more than £250,000 had gone into their bank accounts from Edwin Brain's job as a taxi and bus driver and from other "unknown sources".

Mrs Brain admitted failing to disclose £67,000 that came from the sale of the family home while her husband failed to disclose her savings when he made an application for housing and council tax benefit.

Mr Llewelyn said Mrs Brain had applied for pension credit for them both in 2004 saying they had no savings and her husband's income was £85-a-week.

Lynda Brain was handed an eight month suspended sentence. Credit: Wales News Service

In 2007 she received £67,337 from the sale of a house and a year later Mr Brain applied for housing benefit saying his wife was on pension credits and he had £100 each week from his job as a driver.

The housing benefit fraud cost Bridgend Council £3,600 while the fraudulent pension credits from the Department of Work and Pensions amounted to more than £39,000.

There was a lengthy failure to make a true declaration of your financial position and this fraudulent activity was substantial.

You manipulated the accounts in a level of planning and care."

– Judge Michael Fitton QC

Jailing Brain for 12 months the judge told him he was the prime mover in the fraud and had shown little real remorse.

Mrs Brain was handed an eight month suspended sentence.