Indian origin woman in UK nailed in 50,000-pound state benefits scam

February 24th, 2009 - 2:18 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Feb 24 (ANI): An Indian origin woman living in Britain, Shashi Bacheta, who has claimed 50,000 pound in state benefits, claiming that she was depressed and bed ridden with a bad back, was in fact regularly scuba diving off the coast of Kenya in her boy friends one lakh pound yacht.

Bacheta told authorities that she was jobless, felt like a social outcast and needed 24-hour care because she lived alone, was unable to get out off the bed and suffered depression.

But the truth was that Bacheta and her partner sailed halfway round the world on their 70ft yacht, sun-kissed and living the lives of millionaires, The Telegraph reported.

Able to indulge in her passion for scuba diving, Bacheta and Jeffrey Coles occasionally docked their yacht the Kismet, drawing admiring glances from passers-by and hooking up with fellow travellers.

The mother of one, from Swansea, was caught when investigators tracked down the yacht on a blog and found her picture of her lounging on deck with boyfriend Jeffrey Cole.

On Monday, after admitting 20 charges of fraud and false accounting, they were warned by the courts that their next port of call was likely to be a jail cell.

The report said that while on their trip, Bacheta, 52, claimed housing benefits, disability living allowances, council tax relief and income support in a series of scams.

Coles, 58, chipped in, claiming an extra 12,000-pound by claiming to be her landlord when they were in fact living together, it added.

A court heard while they were living it up in the lap of luxury sailing around the Canaries, India and Atlantic, Bacheta was pretending to be seriously ill and unemployed.

According to the paper, Cole works as a postmaster at a Post Office in Clase, Swansea, while he gave Bacheta a job managing the newsagent side of the business.

Bacheta admitted 16 charges of false accounting, fraud and deception between October 2002 and January 2008.

Coles, from Sketty, Swansea, pleaded guilty to four offences of obtaining wrongful credits and false accounting. (ANI)

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