A benefit fraudster collected more than £14,000 using the forged identities of three foreign relatives – including two allegedly murdered by Somali rebels.
Osman Abdullahi Mohamed, of Servia Gardens in Woodhouse, Leeds, posed as his brother, father and brother-in-law to claim bogus jobseekers allowance and social fund payments, Leeds Crown Court heard.
After his arrest he told police the three men – Mohammed Abdullah Hussein, Mohamed Ali and Mahdi Hussein Hussein – had returned from the UK to Somalia, where he was from, in 2010.
David Gordon, prosecuting, said: “He said Mahdi Hussein Hussein and Mohamed Ali were killed by rebels in Somalia towards the end of 2011. Mohammed Hussein was captured by rebels and is currently being held under a £50,000 ransom.”
The court heard an investigation was launched in July last year after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) received evidence of false claims.
Mohamed, 39, was seen on CCTV going to job centres in Leeds city centre, Seacroft, Pudsey and Harehills using different identities to make claims.
Investigators found out he was also working at Oulton Hall hotel in Oulton and Wagamama restaurant in Leeds
Mohamed, who falsely took nearly £14,400, was yesterday jailed for 13 months for 14 counts of benefit fraud as well as driving offences.
DWP fraud investigator Bob Gallacher said: “Osman Abdullahi Mohamed spun a tangled web of deceit in order to swindle thousands of pounds from the taxpayer.
“Benefit fraud is a crime and we are dedicated to catching those who commit it. Only a small minority of benefit claimants are dishonest, but cases like this cost the taxpayer money that should be used to help those in need.”