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Eight years for ID fraudster

Job Centre worker helped him steal tax credits

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An identity thief who fraudulently claimed more than £1.3m in tax credits under false names has been imprisoned for eight-and-a-half years.

Olaide (John) Taiwo, 35, a security guard from Camberwell, South East London, who was earlier found guilty of conspiracy to commit tax credit fraud and acquiring criminal property, was jailed at a sentencing hearing at Inner London Crown Court on Tuesday. He was convicted along with a female accomplice, Olajumoke Ademuyiwa, who faces a sentencing hearing in April, of conspiring to steal the identities of at least 350 people before submitting more than 300 fraudulent tax credit claims.

Ademuyiwa, 42, of Canning Town, London, abused her position as a a Jobcentre Plus employee to obtaining the details of low-income people who might be eligible for tax credit repayments. These payments were directed towards accounts controlled by Taiwo and Ademuyiwa.

The scam ran from June 2004 until July 2008, when the fraud was detected and an investigation launched that ultimately resulted in the August 2010 arrest of Taiwo. HMRC investigators seized "details of numerous bank accounts held in the defendants’ names and aliases, plus documentation which held hundreds of innocent people’s identities". Investigators also seized £70,000 as suspected proceeds of crime pending the conclusion of confiscation proceedings, which remain ongoing.

Richard Young, senior investigating officer for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), said: "This pair ... 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." ®

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