Grenfell fraudster jailed for claiming £88,000 worth of benefits

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A man has been jailed after falsely claiming he was sleeping rough in the Grenfell Tower so he could access £88,0000 worth of benefits meant for genuine victims of the fire.

Abdelkarim Rekaya, 28, was handed a four-and-a-half year prison sentence at Isleworth Crown Court today [30 November] after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to fraud and obtaining leave to remain in the UK by deception.

As a result of his false claims he was put up in emergency accommodation in a hotel for eight months at a cost to the council of £60,401.

Rekaya was then moved into a studio flat in Chelsea for six months at a cost of another £15,895.77, including £3,166.17 worth of furniture, electrical goods and bills. He was also given payments totaling £11,885.40, and monthly travel cards.

The second offence related to Rekaya claiming another 12 months leave to remain.

CCTV showed he had not been at the tower before or after the time of the fire, prompting his guilty plea.

The CPS applied for a forfeiture order to recover £2,000 in cash found in the flat when he was arrested.

David Davies, of the London CPS Complex Casework Unit, said: "Abdelkarim Rekaya falsely claimed he had been sleeping rough in the Grenfell tower so he could personally benefit from this tragedy.

"He made-up an account of waking up and fleeing the building, but the CPS was able to disprove his lies leading to this conviction."

Notes to editors

  • David Davies is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the London Complex Casework Unit
  • Abdelkarim Rekaya [DOB: 25/02/1990] was sentenced to four years imprisonment for fraud, and six months for obtaining leave to remain in the UK by deception, to be served consecutively.

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