£10m scam: Nigerians, all Yoruba, steal UK judges, MPs’ identities
Some suspected fraudsters of Nigerian extraction are facing jail for allegedly using the identities of British Members of Parliament (MPs), judges and police officers for a £10 million scam.
According to Dailymail, the defendants allegedly stole personal details from the Civil Service Sports Council (CSSC) to make fraudulent claims over a four-year period.
Member lists were said to have been ‘stolen to order’ from CSSC and used to place orders for tax credit starter packs used in fraudulent claims over a four-year period.
Dailymail noted: “The gang managed to get away with nearly £2,500,000 before staff at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs spotted the ‘extraordinarily high rate’ of claims being made by civil servants. If the scam had not been stopped it could have reaped more than £10,260,525.”
CSSC events manager Adedamola Oyebode (30), stole membership lists and passed them on to her brothers-in-law – Oluwatobe Emmanuel Odeyemi (34) and Oluwagbenga Stephen Odeyemi (39) – who ran the fraud with Kayode Sanni (38).
Sanni, an illegal immigrant, denied being involved in the fraud.
Emmanuel Odeyemi, Chantelle Gumbs and Adedamola Oyebode have already pleaded guilty and will be sentenced with Sanni at the Old Bailey on July 6.
Prosecutors have dropped charges against Emmanuel’s wife, Oluwatosin Oyebode.
Adedamola Oyebode, who worked for the CSSC between August 2008 and August 2010, has since admitted supplying lists of members and their details in return for payment. She also made calls to the tax credit helpline to obtain application packs.
Jurors were told that two of the gang, Stephen Odeyemi and his wife, Oluwatumininu Banjo (40), have fled to Nigeria and are wanted abroad.
Adedamola Oyebode, from Bellingham, southeast London, Stephen Odeyemi from Dagenham, Essex and Chantelle Gumbs, will be sentenced for fraud charges on July 6 at the Old Bailey.
Oluwatumininu Banjo, also from Dagenham, and Emmanuel Odeyemi, from Gravesend, Kent, are believed to be on the run in Nigeria.
Simon York, Director of Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC, said: “We have dismantled an organised criminal attack on the tax credits system. HMRC officers and our counter-fraud checks identified the attack, and our investigators uncovered those behind the fraud, preventing £8 million of false claims being paid to the criminals. A further £2.4 million in tax credits claimed by the fraudsters was paid before we could stop the crime group and prevent further fraud.
“Tax credits are paid to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. We have to strike a balance between making it easy for people to receive what is due, and having procedures in place to identify and stop fraudulent claims. Our investigation was made more difficult as the criminals had hijacked real identity details to make the fraudulent claims.”