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Fraudsters jailed for Tax Credits and Benefits scam 02/10/12

A statement issued from the press office of HM Revenue & Customs highlights a recent court decision involving a man and his partner who attempted to claim £3.8 million in a tax credits and benefits scam using stolen identities, who have been jailed, following an HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) criminal investigation.

The couple from London submitted hundreds of false claims for Social Fund payments to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and for tax credits to HMRC. The vast majority of the claims were rejected but £87,000 was paid out.

The fraud was discovered when HMRC noticed that a number of tax credit claims, supposedly from different people, came from the same addresses. HMRC investigators also discovered that the same addresses were used for a number of Post Office card accounts and it became clear to them that the DWP was being defrauded in the same way.

Simon De Kayne, HMRC Assistant Director Criminal Investigation, said:
"This was a long and complex HMRC investigation. Tackling organised fraudsters is a priority for us and we will not hesitate to work with our partner agencies to pursue those who commit this type of offence.”

As well as analysing tax credit records, computer systems, hand written application forms and bank account details and listening to hours of recorded phones calls to the Tax Credit Helpline, HMRC investigators viewed CCTV footage showing activity outside various North London Post Office ATMs and carried out surveillance on Thomas.

At the time of their arrest Adeola Thomas was in possession of 17 Post Office account cards in 17 people’s names, two mobile phones and two fraudulently completed application forms addressed to Jobcentre Plus, while his partner, Abimbola Abiola, had £4,125 cash in her handbag, which she claimed was her child benefit payment. She has one child.

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS comments:
“Anyone with information about suspected tax credits or benefits fraud can call the National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440.”

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