Sept 29, 2012 – Nigerian Couple Jailed In UK Over £3.8m Tax Benefits Claims Fraud Using 1,400 Identities
Nigerian couple identified as Adeola Thomas and Abimbola Abiola have been arrested and jailed over tax benefits claims fraud involving the use of over 1,400 stolen Identities. www.naijagists.com
38-year-old Adeola Thomas and his 34-year-old wife, Abimbola Abiola used the stolen IDs to complete 2495 handwritten tax & benefit claims forms.
They were caught when UK HM Revenue & Customs staff noticed multiple tax credit claims from the same addresses which led them to launch an investigation.
Thomas’ hand-written application forms were analysed, computer records were checked, and hours of recorded calls to the Tax Credit Helpline were listened to and a surveillance operation was carried out. The HRMC investigators viewed CCTV footage showing activity outside various North London Post Office ATMs.
Thomas was eventually arrested at a cash point outside a Post Office in Hackney on October 7th last year. He was found to be in possession of 17 Post Office account cards in different names, two mobile phones and two fraudulently completed forms addressed to Jobcentre Plus.
When Abiola was arrested later the same day, she had £4,125 in her handbag. The mother-of-one claimed the money was her child benefit payment.
Daily Mail reports that the pair, who carried out the scam between January 3, 2007 and October 7, 2011, tried to claim £827,000 from HMRC, securing £43,000. They also claimed £3 million from the Department of Work and Pensions and received £44,000.
Thomas, who also happens to be an illegal immigrant pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering offences. Abiola, a Nigerian national with leave to remain in the UK was also found guilty of four counts of conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and possession of criminal property.
Thomas been sentenced to 7 years in Jail while his wife Abiola gets 2.5 years.
What a shameful legacy.