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Finance and money

Benefit cheat brought to justice

A COMPANY director who fraudulently claimed almost £7,000 in benefits by submitting fake letters about his employment status has been ordered to do 250 hours community service.

Jeremy Osei-Asamoah, of Durrington Tower, Wandsworth Road, Lambeth, claimed to be earning just £65 a week as an employee of ‘4 Generation Computers’, a company of which he was in fact a director.

He submitted false letters to Lambeth Council about his income that were purported to be signed by a director of the company, named ‘David Webster’, and used them to claim housing and council tax benefit between November 2007 and January 2010.

Lambeth Council fraud investigators became suspicious and made enquiries with Companies House and discovered Osei-Asamoah was the sole director of 4 Generation Computers. No accounts had ever been filed for the company until its dissolution in April 2009, and when initially questioned he could not describe what ‘David Webster’ looked like.

He had used the false letters to claim £6,156 in housing benefit and £841.19 in council tax benefit.

Lambeth Council sought prosecution and Osei-Asamoah faced a seven count indictment of producing false documentation in support of his benefit claim. He pleaded not guilty to all counts and a trial was held at Inner London Crown Court from 25th to 27th January 2012.

The jury returned a verdict on 27th January of guilty on all counts.     On Monday 20th February he was handed down a 4 month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months. He was also sentenced to a Community Punishment Order requiring him to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work within the next 12 months.

Cllr Paul McGlone, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “People who claim benefits they are not entitled to are stealing from the public purse and we will pursue those who do so relentlessly through the courts.

“Our anti-fraud team is saving council tax payers hundreds of the thousands of pounds a year by rooting out and cracking down on the cheats, vital funds that can instead be used to protect key services.”

If you have any information about someone you suspect to be committing benefit fraud you can call Lambeth Council’s anti-fraud hotline on 020 7926 1111.

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