A man who stole hundreds of identities and fraudulently claimed over £1.3m of tax credits has been jailed for eight and a half years.
Olaide (John) Taiwo (35), was jailed for his part in stealing the identities of at least 350 people and using the identities to submit over 300 fraudulent tax credit claims.
A woman who took part in the fraud was also convicted and will be sentenced in April.
Richard Young, Senior Investigating Officer for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said:
“This pair blatantly hijacked the identities of over 350 innocent people and stole from British taxpayers by submitting over 300 fraudulent tax credit claims between June 2004 and July 2008. They deliberately attacked and abused a system designed to provide financial help to the most vulnerable people in our society. The sentences given will be a warning to anyone considering committing this type of fraud - it will not be tolerated. HMRC will pursue, prosecute and reclaim the financial gain from those found to commit these types of crime. 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 Taiwo, His Honour Judge Simon Davis said:
“This is a fraud on a substantial scale. You lied and sought to manipulate with ease and confidence and with an arrogance that was astonishing. You were intimately connected with every aspect of the fraud, stealing real details of real people to commit identity fraud on the large scale.”
Taiwo, a security guard from Camberwell, South East London was arrested on 6 August 2010. A search of his home uncovered evidence of the fraud taking place, including details of numerous bank accounts held in the defendants’ names and aliases, plus documentation which held hundreds of innocent people’s identities. HMRC investigators also seized £70,000, which is believed to be proceeds of the crime.
Taiwo 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.
Taiwo was sentenced on 22 February 2011 at Inner London Crown Court.
Confiscation proceedings are in place.
Notes for editors
1. Details of defendant are:
* John Taiwo, DOB 25/07/1975, a security guard, of Langland House, Edmund Street, Camberwell, London, SE5, was jailed today for eight and a half years at the Inner London Crown Court. He was found guilty of fraudulently obtaining tax credit payments by submitting false claims using other individuals identity details without their knowledge or consent in contravention with S35 Tax Credits Act 2002 contrary to Section 1 (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and Section 329 (1) (a) of the proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
* Olajumoke Ademuyiwa , DOB 04/12/1968, a Jobcentre Plus employee, of 55 Tarling Road, Canning Town, London E16 was found guilty of fraudulently obtaining tax credit payments by submitting false claims using other individuals identity details without their knowledge or consent in contravention with S35 Tax Credits Act 2002 contrary to Section 1 (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and Section 329 (1) (a) of the proceeds of Crime Act 2002. She will be sentenced on 4 April 2011.
2. Anyone with information relating to Tax Credits fraud is encouraged to call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440.
3. If anyone has any information to report to HMRC about any individuals or businesses that may be evading their tax, please contact the Tax Evasion hotline by calling 0800 788 887 or via the website www.hmrc.gov.uk/tax-evasion.
4. If people require assistance with their own tax credits they can ring the Tax Credit Helpline 0845 300 3900 or visit the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk for more information.
5. Confiscation proceedings are in place.
6. Follow HMRC on Twitter @HMRCgovuk
7. To view the documents associated with this release, please use the link below:
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