Sep 20 2012 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
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A PROLIFIC fraudster who claimed £145,000 in benefits over eight years has been jailed for 15 months.
Abiodun Jagun used a false identity and a fraudulent national insurance number so she could work undeclared for local housing associations and defraud the benefits system to the tune of £52,786 in housing benefits, £28,928 in income support overpayments and £63,412 in child tax credits.
A joint investigation by the department of work and pensions, HM Revenue and Customs and Harrow Council’s fraud team led to her appearance at Harrow Crown Court where she admitted six counts of obtaining housing benefit and income support by deception.
She denied four counts of the same charge, which were left on file by the judge.
The 45-year-old had worked for English Churches Housing Association from 2003 to 2007 and Genesis Housing Association from 2007 to 2010 in Wembley.
She failed to declare ownership of a house in Griffin Road, Edgware, where she lived with her husband and children as she fraudulently amassed a total of £145,127 in benefits from March 2003 to March this year.
She also used two different national insurance numbers to claim benefits from September 27, 2005 and October 17, 2010 in Harrow.
She was convicted of dishonestly obtaining child tax credits following a one-day trial at Harrow Crown Court on Friday, September 7.
She was handed the maximum 15-month sentence for the crime, to run concurrently with a 10-month sentence handed at the same court following her earlier guilty pleas to the charges of housing benefit and income support fraud.
Harrow Council’s cor-porate anti-fraud manager, Justin Phillips, said: “Benefit fraud hits hard-working communities of badly needed funds which are used to pay for crucial public services. It is money that is set aside to help the most vulnerable people in the borough.”
Jagun will return to Harrow Crown Court in March for a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.