Former HMRC worker sentenced for tax credits fraud

A former tax credits officer has been handed a 12-month suspended prison sentence for fraudulently claiming more than £18,000 in tax credits whilst living with her husband.

Tracey Griffiths, 37, from Wordsley, lied about a marriage break up and claimed the benefits as a single person between 2014 and 2016.

Griffiths, who worked for HMRC during the two-year fraud, claimed to have separated from her husband in February 2014. But she was still living with him in Kingswinford, they had been on holiday together seven times and they both posted messages on Facebook to celebrate their first wedding anniversary in September 2014.

The couple’s finances also ran in tandem and Mr Griffiths had bought his wife a car and paid £3,000 for her to have cosmetic surgery. Adrian De Ath, Assistant Director, Internal Governance, HMRC, said:

“This was a gross breach of trust. Griffiths exploited her position and used her detailed knowledge of the tax credits system to claim money she knew she was not entitled to.

“Corruption amongst our staff is rare and will not be tolerated. HMRC expects the very highest standards of behaviour from all staff. There is no place within HMRC for criminals like Griffiths. We will now work hard to recover the proceeds of her crime.”

Griffiths had worked for HMRC since 2002 and was working at an office in Wolverhampton. She had an in depth knowledge of tax credits, having previously worked as a tax credits compliance officer. She was found guilty on November 23rd following a trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court. She was dismissed from HMRC in May 2017. In sentencing her at Warwick Crown Court, Judge Peter Cooke said:

“Over a protracted period of time through thorough dishonesty and an inside knowledge of the tax credit system you inflated your household income through fraud.

“The evidence was clear and compelling. What was also pretty compelling is that a good chunk of that surplus was spent of foreign holidays, which you could not have afforded on your legitimate income. You wanted a better lifestyle and you have shown no hint of remorse.”

Griffiths was handed a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. She was also ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work.

Information about any type of tax fraud can be reported to HMRC online at or by calling 0800 788 887.


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