A 55-year-old Cradley Heath woman who fiddled more than £32,000 in benefits, had delieberatly set out to commit fraud, a judge said.
Nusrat Bibi was sentenced to 10 months in prison suspended for 10 months after being found guilty of four charges of benefit fraud by a jury at Wolverhampton Crown Court, despite protesting her innocence.
Judge John Warner told her: "You have come about as close as it is possible to being sent to prison."
He said it was clear Bibi had failed to declare she owned a property and had capital when she put in her claims for benefits.
"I am quite satisfied this was deliberate fraud from the outset.
"The jury decided, despite all the things you said, that you knew exactly what you were doing when you filled in those funds."
The judge added: "I cannot be sure you were not the only one who was involved although I cannot name or accuse any others of being responsible."
Andrew Wallace, prosecuting, said Bibi, of Mace Street, failed to notify the Department of Work and Pensions that she had moved from a house she owned into a property belonging to one of her children.
He told the court the fraud was carried on over a five year period and Bibi £32,000 now faced a Proceeds of Crime hearing for the money to be recovered.