A FORMER Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) employee who claimed more than £40,000 without permission has been given a suspended sentence.

Emma Chantler, aged 29, of Warwick Road, Atherton, defrauded the taxpayer of £42,088 by not declaring her husband’s self-employed income and lying about her childcare costs.

Chantler committed the fraud between April, 2005, and April, 2011, and was charged with tax credit fraud.

She previously worked as a contact centre manager for HMRC but was forced to resign in August last year after an investigation into her conduct by the tax watchdog began.

At a hearing at Manchester Crown Court, Chantler was jailed for 36 weeks, suspended for a year, and ordered to complete 160 hours of unpaid work.

Barbara Duda, senior manager of internal governance for HMRC, said: “HMRC expects the highest standards of behaviour from its staff and we will vigorously pursue anyone who abuses the trust that we have placed in them.

“Chantler took advantage of her position for personal gain, and like anyone who attempts to steal from public funds, has paid the price for her dishonesty.

“Anyone with information about this type of fraud can help us by calling 0845 300 3900.”