14 Mar 2013

Jail at last for determined benefit thief

A benefit cheat mother was jailed after admitting claiming more than £60,000 illegally.

Anuoluwapa Oloyede-Samuel, 42, from Aveley, was sentenced to 15 months in prison after Southend Crown Court was told she fraudulently claimed Income Support, Housing and Council Tax Benefit from Thurrock Council.

She claimed her husband, Ololeye Ololeke Oloyede-Samuel, also 42, was not living with her and said she had a tenancy agreement with City Real Estates paying £1,250 rent a month.

Oloyede-Samuel also claimed neither she nor her husband was in paid employment or owned any property, neither of them had any bank accounts except those declared to the council and neither of them had any income except Income Support and Child Benefit.

None of this was true. Investigators found the couple, who have four children aged between two and nine, had received more than £244,256 into undeclared bank accounts while they were taking handouts from the Government and Thurrock Council.

In November 2009, police and investigators from Thurrock Council searched the couple’s home in Aveley, and seized documents.

Further enquiries into Mr Oloyede-Samuel revealed he was in the country illegally and he had a number of undeclared bank accounts - one of which showed he had been working as a security officer.

He should be deported.

Assessors from the Department for Work and Pensions determined Mrs Oloyede-Samuel had no entitlement to Income Support, resulting in an overpayment of £46,165.61 and Thurrock Council assessed that both defendants were overpaid £12,787.49 in Housing Benefit and £1,478.44 in Council Tax Benefit.

Mr Oloyede-Samuel pleaded guilty to giving false information and overclaiming benefits. He received a one-year sentence suspended for two years and was also ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work within 12 months.

Both had previously been convicted for similar benefit fraud offences against Croydon Council, where they were given suspended jail sentences, but judge Mr Recorder Royall advised these would not be taken into consideration.

The couple now live in Exeter, Devon.

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