A Government Minister yesterday criticised a Birmingham woman who used the identity of her dead sister to claim benefits.
Anti-Benefit Fraud Minister James Plaskitt was speaking after Bridget Margaret Redmond was sentenced for receiving £11,370 to which she had no entitlement.
Redmond (50), of Roughlea Avenue, Bromford, obtained jobseekers allowance and housing benefit in the name of her sister, Theresa Jackson, who died in a road accident in Dublin when she was nine.
Mr Plaskitt (Lab Warwick & Leamington) said: "Department for Work and Pensions investigators uncovered a cynical and calculated crime, which used the death of a young girl to steal money intended for the most vulnerable.
"Benefit fraud is theft and I am committed to tracking down and prosecuting offenders."
Redmond received a 12-month community rehabilitation order and 100 hours community service at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday. She pleaded guilty after an investigation was triggered following an anonymous tip off in April 2005.
A spokeswoman from Birmingham City Council said: "In recent years Birmingham City Council's Investigation Team and the Department of Work and Pensions has worked closer ensuring where necessary those that set out to defraud national and local benefits are jointly investigated and brought to account."
Redmond was also receiving income support and housing benefit in her own name because she was unfit for work. But for almost four years she claimed benefit using the identity of her sister who died in 1971.