Assa Brown was spared jailed after she admitted to being a benefits cheat
Assa Brown, 50, claimed housing and council tax benefits over a four-year period despite buying another property which she rented out for £1,000-a-month.
Brown, a law graduate, also received jobseeker's allowance while receiving the rental income from the second home which she bought in London.
She swindled £21,731 in housing benefit, £2,233 in council tax benefit and £3,114 in jobseeker's allowance – totalling £27,078 between October 2010 and 2014.
Dishonesty of this length and of this gravity is a serious matter
Judge Andrew Lockhart QC
Brown, of Warwick, admitted failing to notify a change in circumstances and two charges of making false statements to obtain benefits.
She was jailed for four months suspended for two years at Warwick Crown Court on Thursday.
Brown was further handed a 12-month supervision order as well as being made to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
Judge Andrew Lockhart QC said: "You chose to claim benefits across a period of four years when you were in receipt of a quarter-of-a-million pounds and £250 a week from the flat.
"You behaved properly in society until 2010, but then for four years you were fraudulent.
"You made a claim for benefit in 2010, and it was only a proper claim for a matter of months.
"Thereafter, every day you knew you were receiving money to which you were not entitled.
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Brown claimed benefits allowance despite owning a second property which she rented
"You knew that others who did not own their own home and did not have a house to rent did not receive the benefit they were entitled to because the benefit system was pushed into difficulty by people like you.
"You were a wealthy woman in every sense across the course of those years, and you chose to enhance that wealth.
"Dishonesty of this length and of this gravity is a serious matter."
He continued: "You received in excess of a quarter of a million pounds in the divorce settlement at the time you made fraudulent claims.
"You have had a spectacular fall from grace. I give you credit for the fact that you are repaying the money gradually."
Judge Lockhart said when interviewed Brown told "manifest lies" that the money belonged to her father and she had received nothing from her ex.
The court heard Brown has so far repaid a total of £4,640 and is having £3.70-a-week stopped out of benefits.
Judge Lockhart said: "I'd have been more impressed if she had repaid it all. She is a woman who is no doubt still sitting on enormous assets.
"She still owns her address, and could have taken draw-down on that."
The 50-years-old had been awarded £250,000 in a settlement from her ex-husband
Brown moved to the UK from Iran in 1982 and was the general manager of 12 shops until 2010.
She correctly claimed she was single and had a child in the household in October that year.
But Prosecutor Henry Skudra said it became fraudulent just one month later after she received her huge divorce settlement.
She further made two false applications for jobseekers allowance and failed to provide details of her divorce settlement when interviewed.
Mr Skudra said Brown claimed the money going into her account from the flat was in fact a loan from her father that she would have to repay.
Amiee Parkes, defending, said: "Her mother and father still live in Iran. She has brought shame on them.
"What triggered this is an acrimonious divorce from her partner.
"When she first made this claim it wasn't fraudulent, and she was advised to make it by the domestic violence unit.
"She didn't know she was going to get the sum of money she did, but accepts she did not declare that or the property in Kingston-upon-Thames bought from the proceeds of the divorce.
"She wants to move on with her life and wants to get a job."