A Scarborough man ran three companies while claiming more than £24,000 worth of benefits over four years, a court heard.
While making claims for housing, council tax, job seekers and employment support allowances, Robert Dixon, 57, ran R&T Gardening Services, E&S Renewables and North East Wind.
Dixon, formerly of Belgrave Crescent and now of Hoxton Road, appeared before York Crown Court on Monday for sentencing after having previously admitting four charges of obtaining benefits by deception.
The court heard that Dixon, who was initially entitled to benefits, continued claiming after becoming self- employed.
The offences were committed between June 2007 and November 2011.
During that period Dixon, who is recovering from throat cancer, illegally obtained £24, 053.86 in benefits.
The benefits were claimed while his businesses generated in excess of £70,000.
Dixon, who was told by Recorder Osborne that he had “demonstrated some skill in obtaining monies from the benefit agencies” still faces in September confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The court heard that Dixon, who is paying off his debt at £100 per month, has no previous convictions.
His accounting systems, personal life and health were described as all being chaotic.
Dixon admitted in interviews following his arrest, that he had been unable to keep track and had guessed at figures.
The court heard Dixon was said to be working hard and no longer claiming any benefits in order to pay off what he owes.
The judge sentenced Dixon to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.
Dixon was also ordered to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work.