Belfast civil servant sentenced over tax credit fraud

Laganside Courts complex, Belfast
Laganside Courts complex, Belfast

A civil servant from Belfast who falsely claimed to be a single parent while living with her partner has received a suspended prison sentence for tax credit fraud.

Andrea Mary Montgomery, 39, from Dunmore Mews in the north of the city claimed £76,000 she was not entitled to between 2012 and 2016.

The Department of Finance and Personnel employee was discovered to be acting fraudulently by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigators.

Montgomery was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years, when she appeared at Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday.

She pleaded guilty to six counts of being knowingly concerned in fraudulent activity with a view to obtaining payments of tax credits.

Steve Tracey, assistant director at the Fraud Investigation Service HMRC, said: “For four years, Montgomery deliberately claimed tax credits she wasn’t entitled to. This is fraud and means there is less money available for those who are most in need. I hope this sentence makes people think twice before they knowingly submit fraudulent claims.

“HMRC will continue to target those who attempt to steal public funds for their own benefit. You can help us by reporting suspected tax fraud to our hotline on 0800 788 887.”