Monday, 6 May 2013

Kenyan to repay $477600 after UK fraud

Kenyan currency. A Kenyan woman serving a two-year jail term in Britain for making false welfare claims worth more than $310,440 over six years has been ordered to repay $477,600. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By NATION CORRESPONDENT | Monday, May 6  2013 at  11:27

A Kenyan woman serving a two-year jail term in Britain for making false welfare claims worth more than $310,440 (Sh26 million) over six years has been ordered to repay $477,600 (Sh40 million).
Gladys Popoola is to repay a total of Sh39,530,270 (£304,079), including Sh24,180,000 (£186,000) compensation to Westminster City Council and HMRC within six months.
The move by British courts also saw three residential properties bought by Ms Popoola in key UK upmarket areas seized to foot the huge court bill.
The Kenyan-born woman, who resided with her husband John Ndirangu in North West London, has been serving her jail term since March 2012.
This was after she admitted 13 counts of benefit fraud and three other counts of fraud relating to obtaining a national insurance number.
Welfare support
Popoola raked in so much from the “full range” of benefits she claimed that she bought three homes in London and one in Kenya.
The court found that Popoola demanded welfare support despite the fact that she had three jobs and a working husband, building a property portfolio worth Sh65 million (£500,000).
The civil suit followed a criminal case where the 47-year-old UK citizen admitted 16 counts relating to fraud. The Southwark Crown Court last year sentenced her to 24 months in jail.
Her six-year web of deceit started as soon as she was allowed to remain in Britain in 2004, which meant she enjoyed full welfare benefits like any UK citizen.
At first, the court heard that she applied for the full range of welfare, including income support, housing and council tax benefits.
The mother, who lives with her daughter in the UK, duped the authorities into giving her two national insurance numbers, one in her name and the other in her maiden name. So she could work and demand welfare benefit claims at the same time. Prosecuting, Mr David Jugnarain said her fraud also included an application to the government for maternity pay, despite the fact that she was already receiving it.
Claimed legal aid
He said in the original court case: “The value of the fraud in this case is just in excess of £200,000 (Sh26 million).”
In addition, she falsely claimed legal aid when she was sacked from the council, when they realised that she was working elsewhere despite the fact that she was signed off sick.

No comments:

Post a Comment