A woman ran a £23,900 benefits scam making 90 false crisis loan claims with the help of her mother and partner, a court heard.
Mandy Marshall operated a system making fraudulent claims for hundreds of pounds for herself and on behalf of others, Leicester Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Laura Hobson said Marshall, of Victoria Street, Loughborough, was the "prime mover" in the operation where she made claims on behalf of other people then claimed half as payment for her services.
She said Marshall (30) used friends and her partner (now her ex-partner) as minders to ensure her share of the loan pay-out was handed over.
Department of Work and Pensions investigators had surveillance camera footage showing Mandy Marshall and her accomplices outside Loughborough Post Office.
Ms Hobson said: "On one piece of footage you can see Marshall holding a bundle of cash aloft to show it to someone across the road."
Ms Hobson said when Marshall's home was searched, police found scripts to use in telephone conversations to claim crisis loans, which help with essential costs after an emergency.
She said Marshall's mother, Jennifer Glover (52), of Gladstone Street, Loughborough, had become involved because of her daughter.
Ms Hobson said Daniel Stevens, who had lived with Marshall and had been her partner, was involved as a "minder" and helped make sure she got her money.
She said Daniel Baughen had made a false claim and acted as a "minder".
Ms Hobson said Wayne Marshall had made false crisis loan claims.
Mandy Marshall, a mother-of-five, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the Department of Work and Pensions between October 9, 2010, and March 24, 2011.
Sheetal Modhwadia, defending, said she had turned to operating the fraud after she got into financial difficulties.
Recorder David Sweeting QC gave Mandy Marshall an eight-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered her to carry out 180 hours unpaid work.
Glover pleaded not guilty to the same charge, but was found guilty after a trial.
Mary Prior, defending Glover, said her client was a woman of previous good character who had never been in trouble with the police.
The judge gave her a six-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months.
Daniel Stevens (26), of Hermitage Road, Loughborough, pleaded guilty to the same charge.
Paul Tubb, defending, said Stevens was only involved at the end of the operation after he lost his job as a labourer.
He was given a four-month prison sentence suspended for a year and told to carry out 80 hours unpaid work.
Wayne Marshall (25), of Gladstone Street, Loughborough, pleaded guilty to same the charge.
Richard Holloway, defending, said his client had committed the offence while a heroin addict. He said he was now drug free. He was given a four-month prison sentence suspended for a year. He was told to carry out 80 hours.
The court was told that all but £6,400 of the £23,900 was being repaid by the defendants.