The Department for Work and Pensions has published a rogues' gallery of the worst convicted fraudsters who have been ordered to pay back hundreds of thousands of pounds.
In 2012-13, the department's specialist Financial Investigation Unit obtained 271 confiscation orders worth £8.9 million - a 50% increase by value on the previous year.
It included a couple from Scotland who had to pay back nearly £1m. Anthony Kearney of Glasgow, was ordered to pay £930,362 and Janet Kearney £13,003. They fled to Spain after being charged with fraudulently claiming benefits and using stolen identities, but were extradited back to Scotland.
Anthony Kearney was sentenced to two years in prison and Janet Kearney to 250 hours of community service.
Welfare Minister Lord Freud said: "These cases should serve as a warning to the cynical minority who see benefits as a way of unfairly lining their pockets at the taxpayers' expense.
"You will face justice and we will use all the powers of the law to close down bank accounts, freeze assets and force the sale of properties to claw back the stolen money.
"Those who refuse will face time behind bars and still have to pay up when they are out."