A woman has been jailed for four years for helping to steal hundreds of identities and fraudulently claiming over £1.3m of tax credits.
Olajumoke Ademuyiwa, 42, a former Jobcentre Plus employee, was jailed for her involvement in stealing the identities of at least 350 people and using the identities to submit over 300 fraudulent tax credit claims, in a scam that spanned over four years.
Her accomplice, Olaide John Taiwo, 35, was jailed for eight and a half years for his part in the scam on 22nd February 2011 at Inner London Crown Court.
Richard Young, acting Assistant Director for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said: “The lengthy jail sentences given to this pair will act as a deterrent to anyone considering committing this type of crime. Over a four year period, they deliberately attacked and abused a system designed to provide financial help to the most vulnerable people in our society, by submitting over 300 fraudulent tax credit claims. Once again, I urge anyone who has information about Tax Credits fraud, to call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440 and help us stamp this fraudulent activity out.”
Upon sentencing, His Honour Judge Simon Davis told Ademuyiwa: “You demonstrated blatant disregard for the truth, not only in the witness box where you lied and lied and lied, but also with documentation used in the fraud. With your role in attacking the revenue, you lied and turned things upside down which the jury saw through. You played an essential role as a helper beyond the scope of just opening bank accounts in the fraud.”
Ademuyiwa, from Canning Town, East London was arrested in July 2008. A search of her home uncovered evidence of the fraud taking place, including details of at least 40 bank accounts held in the defendants’ names and aliases, plus documentation which held hundreds of innocent people’s identities. HMRC investigators also seized £25,000, which is believed to be proceeds of the crime.
Ademuyiwa was found guilty of fraudulently obtaining payments of tax credits, by using the names and addresses of individuals without their consent and acquiring criminal property. Confiscation proceedings are in place.