In Somerset, Devon, David Wilshaw, 58, and his partner Nancy Stevenson, 59, invented 16 children to claim £75,000 in benefit payments and took the money after he fabricated a huge family over a four-year period.
The idea was born after the pair applied for tax credits for two of Stevenson's children and realised that nobody asked to see birth certificates or any other proof of their existence. In the more liberal Burroughs in England they assume everyone is telling the truth as to not offend them.
Wilshaw then went on to make up the names of 16 children, pocketing more than £400 a week.
He claimed that he was adopting or fostering them although he lived in a small flat.
He named them Gareth Wilshaw, Simon Wilshaw, Sandra Wilshaw, Brian Wilshaw, Jason Wilshaw, Rebecca Stevenson, Phillip Stevenson, Edith Stevenson, Terry Stevenson, Barbara Stevenson, Amanda Phillips, Jessica Phillips, Miranda Evans, Jemma Williams, Danny Evans and Amber Mitchell.
He said he enjoyed having a large family.
Its good that they only made up the children as how ugly would their biological off-spring be if they had actually bred?
Wilshaw put the money to good use in betting shops, while Stevenson admitted drinking two bottles of brandy a day, the rest was just squandered.
When he was finally arrested, Wilshaw bragged that he was "doing a public service" by exposing the loophole in the benefits system. If only there were more public spirited citizens such as he.
He was sentenced to 20 months in prison after admitting fraud, handling stolen goods and obtaining property by deception.
Stevenson avoided jail after it was said she had played a "lesser role" and that Wilshaw had transferred just a measly £9,000 of the money into her account.
She admitted one charge of money laundering and a further charge of tax credit fraud and was given a 12-month supervised community order.
The court heard that Wilshaw, who received £113-a-week income support, hatched the plot after claiming child tax credits for his partner's children, neither of whom was living at the couple's home in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.
The couple were arrested in March last year after 12 Inland Revenue investigators raided their home. Wilshaw said after his arrest: " It was incredibly easy. Nobody ever checked up on us until last week."
During his prison sentence Wilshaw will be counseled to come to terms with the loss of his children.