Woman who invented dead husband in Grenfell Tower fraud jailed

|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 jailed for fraud.

Joyce Msokeri, 47, was given a four-and-a-half year prison sentence at the Old Bailey today for a number of offences connected to a scam in which she claimed 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.

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.

Msokeri hospital photo
Joyce Msokeri at a hospital where she admitted her fake husband into a mental health ward to support her claim for compensation and a new home

The total value of her fraud was £19,000. She was convicted at Southwark Crown Court on 15 March.

Kate Mulholland for the CPS said:

“Joyce Msokeri has been sentenced today for fraudulently claiming money and accommodation intended for the true victims of the Grenfell Tower fraud.

“Her offences were not just about money but involved the exploitation of extremely vulnerable people, as well as the breach of trust of survivors, donors and relief workers.

“Our prosecution showed she persuaded one vulnerable man to pretend to be her husband as part of her scam.

“She also claimed her supposed husband had not died in the fire as she first thought, but had been living in a cave.

“This was all to satisfy her greed and she will now have to face the consequences of her dishonesty.”

Notes to editors

  1. On 15 March, 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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