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Fraud and prosecutions

Single mother jailed for benefit fraud

A single mother who fraudulently claimed £26,000 in housing and council tax benefits despite owning a string of properties has been jailed for twelve months.

Olutoyin Olayemi-Akande, formerly of Ashford House, Loughborough Park, claimed benefits from 2001 to 2007 on the basis of being a single mother. The 46-year-old would not have been entitled to any benefits had she declared ownership of six properties spread across the South East.

The offence came to light following information passed to Lambeth Council’s anti-fraud division from Thurrock Council. Olayemi-Akande pleaded guilty on September 14, 2010, at Camberwell Green Magistrates Court to nine charges of falsely obtaining housing and council tax benefits in excess of £26,000.

Due to issues with Legal Aid, sentencing was finally passed on March 1, 2011 at Inner London Crown Court. In addition to her custodial sentence Olayemi-Akande was instructed to pay £3,175 in court costs.

Cllr Paul McGlone, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said: “The benefit system is there for people who genuinely need to claim. Olutoyin Olayemi-Akande received tens of thousands of pounds in housing and council tax benefits despite owning six properties.”

He added: “The council has a dedicated team of investigators who will painstakingly pursue all leads and secure evidence to enable a successful prosecution. We will not tolerate benefit cheats in Lambeth and this sends out a clear message that we will always prosecute.”

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