Cheat sentenced to prison after massive benefit fraud

A WOMAN was sentenced to two years in prison after admitted 17 counts of fraud.

Elizabeth Anyele Tetteh appeared for sentence at Basildon Crown Court on 18 February where the court heard Thurrock Council fraud staff uncovered offences going back well over a decade.

The defendant used various aliases and is thought to have used the names of young children who died to make fraudulent claims for benefit.

Tetteh fraudulently claimed more than £90,000 in Income Support and Job Seeker’s Allowance from the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) and Housing and Council Tax Benefit in respect of 3 Rosedale Road, Grays, from Thurrock Council.

This figure is limited because records before 2002 no longer exist, but the court was told the fraud was even greater.

It involved lying about her true ownership of property which she claimed to be renting and the provision of false documents, using false identities and lying about her capital and income – including using the identity of a deceased child.

During the investigations, the defendant was seen several times – from March 2009 – signing-on at Grays job centre, then going to work at a salon in Lea Bridge Road, Walthamstow.

The owner of the salon confirmed he had let the premises to an Elizabeth Burridge in 2006 on a nine-year lease. He confirmed she ran the business on her own.

Signage on the shop gave two telephone numbers, one of which was a mobile number she had provided to the Department for Word and Pensions in Burridge’s claim for Income Support.

One of the aliases was in the name of Nicola Copeland. Enquiries were made and revealed a National Insurance number had never been issued to her, suggesting she may have died before reaching the age of 16.

On 31 January 2008, using the name of Nicola Burridge, Tetteh completed an application for Job Seeker’s Allowance giving her home address as 3 Rosedale Road, Grays, and saying she was unemployed. She stated she had a private landlord, a Miss Tetteh.

Later that year and using her own name, Tetteh claimed Income Support using yet another address in London. She had claimed Housing and Council Tax Benefit from 31 March, 2003, using the Burridge alias, for 3 Rosedale Road, This was supported by false tenancy agreements and various false renewal application forms and supporting documentation was submitted to Thurrock Council over more than five years.

In April 2009 police officers attended a number of addresses linked to the defendant, including Rosedale Road, which was empty and apparently sub-divided into three properties.

At one London address tenants there said their landlady was a woman called Elizabeth and at another London address Tetteh herself was present. A search revealed a large quantity of correspondence and documentation four different names.

The court was told the DWP had determined Tetteh had fraudulently claimed benefits in other names totalling £28,334.96 and a further £3,923.78 in her own name.

Thurrock Council Benefit asessors said she had been overpaid £53,731.61 in Housing Benefit and £4,559.61 in Council Tax

Overall, she was overpaid £90,549.96 in benefits.

Tetteh’s current address is in Windsor Court, Forest Road, Walthamstow.

2 Responses to "Cheat sentenced to prison after massive benefit fraud"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.