2 May 2014

Jail for repeat benefit fraud offender

A woman who falsely claimed more than £26,000 in housing and council tax benefits from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea was sentenced to six months in prison at Hammersmith Magistrates' Court on Friday 11 April 2014. (h/t a reader)

Miss Taibo Djalo-Seidi, 33, of Cambridge Gardens W10, made a claim for benefits from May 2010 to June 2013 on the basis that she was engaged in part-time work. However, following a National Fraud Initiative referral, Council investigation officers established that she had failed to declare that she was employed in a nursery by the London Borough of Camden on a full-time basis since 2007; making her claim false from the outset.

Miss Djalo-Seidi pleaded guilty to four charges of benefit fraud under s111A of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 and three counts of benefit fraud under s3 of the Fraud Act 2066. In mitigation she stated that the extra money had been sent to her sick family in Africa. She was sentenced to six months in prison for each charge, to run concurrently and after three months she will be released on licence for the remaining three months of her sentence.

A custodial sentence was given as a result of her receiving a caution for the same type of offence two years earlier.

In sentencing Djalo-Seidi the bench stated:
We have looked at these offences .... and have decided that they are so serious only custody is appropriate. Had you not cooperated it would have been nine months in total......our reasons are that you had a caution for a similar offence and two years later you systematically and fraudulently claimed for benefits. There was premeditation and planning and we feel you have abused a system to support people in genuine need.
From May 2010 to June 2013 Taibo Djalo-Seidi was overpaid housing benefit of £26,152.52 and council tax benefit of £205.69.

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