Elderly Barking fraudster jailed for decade-long £250k identity scam

Naabayin Awotwe was jailed on Monday last week. Picture: PA

Naabayin Awotwe was jailed on Monday last week. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

An elderly fraudster who committed housing benefit fraud for a decade has been jailed for two years and four months.

Snaresbrook Crown Court. Pic: John Stillwell/PA

Snaresbrook Crown Court. Pic: John Stillwell/PA - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

Naabayin Awotwe, 70, remortaged his home in Lancaster Road, Barking, to receive £157,250 by using a false ID and lying about his income.

He also gained £93,273.51 through housing benefit fraud over a ten year period by setting himself up as both the landlord and the tenant under different identities.

In mitigation, Awotwe said he had been trying to support his two daughters through university but admitted that he had gone about it the wrong way.

He pleaded guilty to three offences of theft by deception and three offerences of false representation to obtain motor insurance at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday last week.

Awotwe received a 16 month sentence for the first offence and 12 months for the housing benefit fraud, to run consecutively, and a further two months to run concurrently for the motor insurance fraud.

The prosecution is a result of a joint operation between the Department for Work and Pensions Fraud and Error Service and Essex Police Service. They will work together to recover the money by seizing assets obtained through Awotwe’s criminal actions.