Illegal immigrant fraudsters jailed

Posted: March 20, 2010 in Law & Disorder

Three illegal immigrants have been jailed for their part in a plot to steal millions of pounds from the Inland Revenue.

IlieOlamide Coker, 33, and Olaniyi Akinyemi, 32, were each sentenced to three years and pregnant Rufina Ulom, 30, to two-and-half years after admitting conspiracy to defraud.

Using identity documents sold to them by corrupt HM Revenue and Customs employees, the three Nigerians obtained more than £560,000 in fraudulent tax rebates before they were caught. The court heard they bought the identity documents for £20 each and used them to fill in self-assessment tax forms online and claim rebates which were sent to Ulom’s bank account.

When HMRC investigators arrested three employees for selling documents they traced the tax claims made using the stolen identities to computers used by Coker, Akinyemi and Ulom. HMRC officers raided the trio’s home in Dartford and found laptops and documents containing evidence of the fraud.

The three HMRC employees who sold the indentity documents to them have been sentenced to a total of eight years and two months in prison. The staff members – Adebambo Odunuga, Tsebenang Tsimba and Shelton Omene – provided confidential information on taxpayers that enabled Coker, Akinyemi and Ulom and others to set up false repayments to their accounts.

The judge recommended that Coker, Akinyemi and Ulom be deported after serving their sentences. But will that happen, I doubt it very much!

After the hearing, the head of HMRC’s Internal Governance Criminal Investigations Joff Parsons called Coker, Akinyemi and Ulom “devious fraudsters”. He said: “They could have deprived UK taxpayers of around £50m were it not for the vigilance of HMRC’s investigators.” If HMRC human resources employed people they could CRB check this wouldn’t have happen at all!

A HMRC spokeswoman said it will use the Proceeds of Crime Act to attempt to retrieve the money obtained by Coker, Akinyemi and Ulom. Don’t make me laugh!

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