Woman who invented dead husband in Grenfell Tower fraud found guilty

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A woman who pretended to be the widow of a Grenfell Tower victim so she could claim money and accommodation has been convicted of fraud.

Joyce Msokeri, 47, was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court today (15 March 2018) of a number of offences connected to a scam in which she went onto claim her made-up husband had actually survived and taken refuge in a cave.

In the aftermath of the fire on 14 June last year, Msokeri gave a fake name to relief workers to falsely claim food, clothing, money, and a month’s accommodation in the Hilton hotel in Kensington. She also tried to get rehoused, despite living in a flat in Sutton, south London.

She claimed to have moved into Grenfell Tower in February 2017 to live with her husband who she said died in the fire. 

As part of the fraud, Msokeri told investigators she subsequently discovered her husband had survived and had been living in a cave in Margate, Kent where he was fed by tourists.

She persuaded a vulnerable man to pretend to be her husband and went to the length of admitting him into a mental health ward to support her claim.

Joyce Msokeri at hotel
Joyce Msokeri at the hotel where real victims of the Grenfell fire were staying

As her story unravelled, investigators discovered she actually lived in Sutton and there was evidence of calls to a satellite TV company the day after the fire to negotiate a new contract.

The total value of her fraud was £19,000.

Kate Mulholland for the CPS said:

“Joyce Msokeri gave a variety of different stories to try to dishonestly profit from the aid meant for the real victims of this tragedy.

“She tried to persuade others to give information which might back up her evolving lies but in the end she was unable to keep up all the pretence.

“Msokeri will now have to accept the consequences of her dishonesty, which saw money diverted from the true survivors of the Grenfell fire. They, like everyone else, will no doubt be appalled at her actions.”

The CPS will also apply for the money and items already seized to be permanently stripped from Msokeri and donated back to charity.

Msokeri will be sentenced on 6 April.

Notes to editors

  1. Joyce Msokeri (dob 19/02/1971) was found guilty of:
    • Fraud. Between 13 June 2017 and 5 September 2017, committed fraud in that dishonestly  and intending thereby to make a gain for herself, namely accommodation, made representations to representatives of the Hilton, London W11 4UL, which were, and which she knew were untrue, namely, that she was a resident of Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017.
    • Fraud. Between 13 June 2017 and 5 September 2017, committed fraud in that dishonestly and intending thereby to make a gain for herself, namely money and accommodation, made representations to representatives of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London W14, which were, and which she knew were untrue, namely, that she was a resident of Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017.
    • Fraud. Between 13 June 2017 and 5 September 2017, committed fraud in that dishonestly and intending thereby to make a gain for herself, namely food, clothing, footwear and electronic equipment, made representations to charities, which were, and which she knew were untrue, namely, that she was a resident of Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017.
    • Possession of an identity document with improper intent contrary to section 4(1) and (2) of the Identity Documents Act 2010. Between 13 June 2017 and the 5 September 2017 with improper intention, had in her possession or under her control an identity document, namely a provisional driving license, that was improperly obtained and that she knew or believed to have been improperly obtained.
  2. Kate Mulholland is a Specialist Prosecutor in the London CPS Complex Casework Unit.

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