Man jailed for largest Grenfell fraud yet

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A fake Grenfell survivor caught with large amounts of drugs in his hotel after falsely claiming almost £90,000 worth of emergency accommodation, has been jailed for six years and eight months.

It is the largest known convicted Grenfell fraud so far.

Yonatan Eyob, 26, was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court today [7 September] after he admitted falsely claiming to have escaped a flat where five others perished. Eyob claimed he had been lodging in the flat with a friend for six months.

He was given emergency accommodation at the Holland Park Hilton between July 2017 and June 2018.

The overall cost to Kensington and Chelsea council was £86,831.56, including £15,918.20 on pre-paid debit cards to pay for food.

Eyob asked for a clothing allowance of £500 after complaining the hotel food had caused him to put on weight and outgrow his clothes.

He also asked to be accommodated elsewhere after complaining about the wi-fi signal and saying it was interrupting his university studies.

He attended a number of council flat viewings but refused some of the offers saying the properties were too small or did not meet his needs.

After suspicions were aroused, footage of the tower was viewed and showed the family he claimed to live with but Eyob could not be seen.

Eyob was also sentenced for possession of class A and class B drugs with intent to supply, and possession of criminal property.

He was arrested in his room in June where 31 wraps of MDMA, cocaine, ketamine, cannabis and cash, were found in a safe.

Catherine Gould, from the CPS, said:

“Yonatan Eyob took advantage of a terrible tragedy for his own greed. He carried on his fraud for nearly a year, diverting funds from those who genuinely needed it and betraying the trust of everyone who gave him assistance.

“If his deceit had not been discovered he would have been eligible for a council home with free rent and council tax until July 2019.

“When someone lies in this way it is only right they are held to account.”

Notes to editors

  • Catherine Gould is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the London CPS Complex Casework Unit
  • Yonatan Eyob [DOB: 05/07/1992] admitted fraud by false representation between 27 June 2017 and 8 June 2018.
  • He also admitted two offences of possessing a class A drug with intent to supply, two offences of possessing a class B drug with intent to supply and one offence of possessing criminal property.


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