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24 people charged with £400,000 DWP benefit fraud

14/07/2014

Andrew Penhale, Deputy Head of the CPS Specialist Fraud Division, said: “Following an investigation by the Central Criminal Investigation Service, part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the CPS has authorised charges against 18 men and six women, all of whom live or work in London, in connection with alleged benefit fraud.

"On dates between July 2011 and September 2013, it is alleged that these individuals took part in a large scale, organised attack on the DWP benefits claims and payments system, dishonestly obtaining £446,844.85 between them.

"In order to carry out this fraud, it is alleged that the defendants hijacked the identities of innocent members of the public without their knowledge or consent. The evidence suggests that some of the defendants had access to third party personal data before providing details to other defendants in order for them to make fraudulent claims for DWP benefits, namely Jobseekers Allowance and Employment Support Allowance.

"The 24 individuals are charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation. In accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors, we have determined that there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and a prosecution of all the defendants is in the public interest.

"The defendants are due to appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, 23 July 2014. They have a right to a fair trial and it is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."

Full charges for court listing purposes only:

The following individuals have each been charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation, contrary to Section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977:

1. Keon Willabus [male]

2. Charles Winful [male]

3. Elwyn Burland [male]

4. Trishan Burland [male]

5. Lance Anderson [male]

6. Geshin Arowosaye [male]

7. George Grant [male]

8. Alan Nsowah [male]

9. Makayla Minjo  [female]

10. Eric Nsowah [male]

11. Daniel Twumasi [male]

12. Bryony Morgan [female]

13. John Walters [male]

14. Raymond Antwi [male]

15. Shalim Frank [male]

16. Nana Acheampong [female]

17. Cindy Liu [female]

18. Denzil Amoo [male]

19. Grace Tsimba-Diangituka [female]

20. Hanna Bang [female]

21. Jesse Mensah [male]

22. Theo Wilson [male]

23. Chevron Bailey [male]

24. Reece McMullan [male]

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:  www.cps.gov.uk.
  4. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.