Man sentenced for £50,000 Grenfell Tower fraud

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A man who claimed he escaped the Grenfell fire and then claimed more than £50,000 in emergency accommodation has been jailed for three years and two months.

Antonio Gouveia, 33, was sentenced today (6 September) at Isleworth Crown Court after pleading guilty last month to two counts of fraud against Kensington and Chelsea council and the Rugby Portobello Trust charity.

He went to a survivor centre after the fire and claimed he was living with an elderly woman in a 7th floor flat in the months running up to the tragedy, and that he had escaped the building at 4am.

As a result of his lies Gouveia was given £260 in emergency cash, a £249.99 Google Chromebook laptop and nine months’ free accommodation at a £155 a night hotel in Marble Arch, worth a total of £53,456.76.

Victim impact statements written by genuine survivors of the fire were read out at his sentencing. They describe their shock at discovering someone would disregard the loss of life for financial gain and the corrosive impact they feared such frauds would have on public trust.

Jonathan Storer, of the CPS, said:

“Antonio Gouveia researched the occupants of the Grenfell Tower to find a name he could use to gain access to aid. This prosecution was also able to show how his greed even led him to rush to claim a laptop earmarked for a genuine survivor.

“Grenfell survivors and people who have been moved to donate by such a terrible tragedy expect these charitable donations to reach real victims and when someone lies to access that money it is only right they are held accountable.”

 

Notes to editors

  • Antonio Gouveia (DOB: 30/03/1985) admitted two counts of fraud by false representation between 14 June 2017 and 5 April 2018.
  • Jonathan Storer is a Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London South

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