Published: 12:22, 12 February 2019
| Updated: 12:23, 12 February 2019
A mother claimed more than £55,000 in benefits when she had stashed away over £84,000 from money she inherited and invested.
Annmarie Rudkin drew income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit she would not otherwise have been entitled to.
Prosecutor Trevor Wright said the claims were dishonest from the start.
The 39-year-old, of Hazelmere Drive, Gillingham, inherited £65,000 and the investment matured to the total amount of £84,105.
Mr Wright said Rudkin applied for the benefits in October 2010, but did not declare the large sum she had. Some of the benefits were in her name and some in joint names with her husband.
Rudkin claimed she had given £10,000 to each of her two children.
“It doesn’t alter the fact there was a substantial sum of money that went into her account, even if she gave £20,000 away,” Mr Wright told Maidstone Crown Court.
“She confirmed she was saving for her children’s future, or that when they got older they could go to university.”
Asked about the investment, Rudkin said: “I had a lot going on. I didn’t want to think about it. I was concentrating on getting myself better.”
But Mr Wright said the mother knew she had to declare the savings.
She claimed £27,270 in income support, £26,150 in housing benefit and £2,150 in council tax benefit.
Rudkin denied dishonestly claiming benefit, but was convicted by a jury by an 11-1 majority.
Adjourning sentence for reports until April 5, Judge Adele Williams said: “The value of the fraud certainly passes the custody threshold, and it was a fraud from the beginning.
“The fact I am ordering a pre-sentence report doesn’t mean I won’t send you to prison on the next occasion.”
Bail was continued.
More by this authorKeith Hunt