Pair sentenced for money laundering and benefit fraud

A mother and daughter have been sentenced for money laundering and benefit fraud offences.

Emma Bent has been sentenced to two and a half years. Her mother, Sonia Lomas, received nine months, suspended for two years.

Bent, of Steep Turnpike, Matlock, admitted swindling thousands of pounds in housing and council tax benefit and income support – at a time when she already had a job.

Lomas, of Hilary Place, Ilkeston, was charged with money laundering, concealing criminal property, perverting the course of justice and forgery. It was alleged she had allowed her daughter to put fraudulent benefits into her bank account, buying a plot of land for £25,000 with the proceeds of Bent's fraud, and perverting the course of justice during police interviews.

Lomas denied the charges but on Tuesday, January 12, a jury at Derby Crown Court found the 61-year-old guilty of those three charges.

The pair were also charged with forging a tenancy document that Bent submitted to Derbyshire Dales District Council in order to claim housing benefit.

Bent pleaded guilty to that charge, while Lomas was cleared of it after the trial.

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