|* Cllr Maureen O’Mara|
by Our RBG Correspondent | Woolwich
Fraudsters have been warned to not bet against being caught by the Royal Borough of Greenwich after Ms Susan Ogunjobi, 22, from Charlton, was found guilty this month of claiming over £10,000 of benefits whilst working in a bookmaker.
The case, which was heard on 20th August 2015 at Bexley Magistrates Court, resulted in Ms Ogunjobi being sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. She was also ordered to undertake 150 hours unpaid work in the community.
Ms Ogunjobi was found guilty having failed to declare to both the Council and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) that she had been paid to work at a bookmaker for 18 months.
During that time, she had continued to claim that she was unemployed, receiving benefit assistance for her rent and living expenses.
The fraud was discovered by the Council’s anti-fraud team and a joint investigation was undertaken with DWP investigators.
Ms Ogunjobi was invited to attend an interview to discuss the allegations however she failed to show up. A date was then set for a Court hearing, but again she failed to attend and a warrant was issued for her arrest.
On 1st July 2015 Ms Ogunjobi was arrested and brought before the Court. This led to further Court appearances which resulted in her being found guilty of 5 offences of benefit fraud under the Social Security Administration Act 1992. The benefits fraudulently claimed amounted to £6,042.66 in overpaid Housing Benefit and £4,110.56 in overpaid Income Support. Ms Ogunjobi was also ordered to pay the Council’s costs of £400 and compensation of £5,000.
Cllr Maureen O’Mara said: “When Ms Ogunjobi took the job in the bookmakers and failed to declare her income to the Council and the DWP, I doubt she had gambled on being caught. The Council’s anti-fraud team has an excellent reputation in identifying and bringing fraudsters to Court so the odds were always stacked against her."
Cllr O'Mara said anti-fraud team "..have my full support in bringing cases of this kind to Court as ultimately it affects all the residents of the borough. Our message is loud and clear – if you cheat the system we will find you and we will prosecute you.”