A Nigerian woman has been handed a two-year jail sentence after she fraudulently obtained over £114,000 from a local council in the UK.
The 49-year-old mother of three identified as Olusola Owoeye, rented out an apartment she bought with fraudulent mortgage while claiming she was homeless, to get a flat given out by a local council. She was nabbed after one of her tenants she charged as much as £820 a month made a complaint at the council.
The Nigerian woman arrived the UK in 2002 and reportedly bought her house with a fraudulent mortgage application. She was able to buy a house in Erith, south-east London for £156,000 in June 2008 while claiming she was working in the software industry and earning £41,000 a year.
The prosecutors told the court that Owoeye moved out of the house she bought four years later, lived with a friend for some time before approaching the Bexley Council in 2013 for support, claiming to be homeless.
Owoeye who obtained over £114,000 in five years with a status which does not allow an immigrant to access the mainstream benefits system, homelessness assistance from a local authority or social housing, is thought to be the first person in London to be convicted of fraud after receiving payments while under ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) immigration status.
Justice Jonathan Mann who presided over the case, found her guilty of three charges of fraud following a four-day trial at Woolwich Crown Court last month. She was subsequently handed a two-year jail sentence.
Justice Mann said;
‘There is only one reason you did what you did and this is because you are greedy. For you this was money for nothing.’
While officials are now investigating the Nigerian woman’s right to remain in the UK upon being released from prison, it was further gathered that she might have to sell her home to pay back Bexley Council in south-east London.