The fraudsters, dubbed the ‘Con Air’ gang after the Hollywood movie, have been ordered to repay just over £136,000 because police and prosecutors cannot trace the rest of the stolen money.

And one member will only have to pay back £10,000 because he lost money in a property slump in Romania.

Earlier this year another was told to hand over just £1 despite stealing more than £100,000.

The shortfall for the British taxpayer emerged following the last of a series of confiscation order court hearings.

The nine-strong gang was jailed for fraud earlier this year in what a judge described as a “flagrant” attack on the benefits system.

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