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26 Nov 2014

Owner of 3 houses must repay £143,500 for 22-year benefit fraud

A woman who owns three houses has been ordered to pay back £143,500 after fraudulently claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit over a span of 22 years.

Josephine Aidoo, 52, from Stamford Hill, used a fake birth certificate to secure a tenancy while she was believed to own a property in Tottenham.

Aidoo was ordered to repay £143,500 at Snaresbrook Crown Court after being convicted of 11 fraud offences which took place between May 1988 and October 2010.

Aidoo was arrested in March 2012 on suspicion of benefit fraud after police secured a search warrant on her home.

The Met’s criminal finance team and Hackney Council investigated for 18 months before pressing charges for 21 offences in 2013.

These included benefit fraud, fraud by false representation relating to the three houses she owned and possession of false identification with intent.

She was sentenced on January 9 this year at Snaresbrook Crown Court to 39 months imprisonment.

Officers then applied for a confiscation hearing for her assets, which included three properties and cash.

During the confiscation proceedings the criminal benefit of £143,500 was granted. Compensation orders of over £95,000 were also granted to Hackney Council and the Department of Work and Pensions, with the remainder going to the Home Office.

Aidoo must pay back the money within six months. Failure to do so will add a further two-and-a-half years to her prison sentence, and she will still be liable to the terms of the confiscation order.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just wonder how she will be able to pay the money back if she is in prison already?

John Page said...

She can still arrange to sell the houses.