An It worker from Leeds and his female friend played key roles in a multi-million-pound fraud involving fake tax credit claims using the stolen identities of 10,000 civil servants.
Kayode Sanni, originally from Nigeria and living in Moorland Road, Pudsey, was jailed for five years and three months at the Old Bailey this month for his role in the conspiracy.
Sanni, who also used the names ‘David Cole’, ‘David Thompson’ and ‘Kay Sanni’, recruited his friend Chantelle Gumbs of Francis Street, Leeds, to the scam.
He supplied her with the stolen data to obtain tax credits application packs, which she requested by phone from HMRC.
They were part of a gang that had successfully claimed more than £2.4m using 2,504 stolen identities and were intending to claim a further £8m.
Gumbs was given a suspended 15-month prison sentence for her role in the fraud.
The scam started in 2009 when Adedamola Oyebode of Lewisham was working as an events and marketing assistant for the Civil Service Sports Council. She accessed the organisation’s password-protected membership system and stole the personal details of 10,300 people – ten per cent of its membership.
Oyebode then passed the data to her brother-in-law, Oluwatobi Odeyemi, known as Emmanuel, 34, of Gravesend, Kent. He was a key facilitator in the criminal operation, managing the stolen data used to make false tax credits claims.
Odeyemi then got Sanni involved in using the stolen data. When Gumbs was sent the forms after requesting them from the HMRC, the gang would complete them – adding details of bank accounts set up to commit the frauds.
Two other people believed to be involved in the fraud – Emmanuel Odeyemi’s brother Oluwagbenga Odeyemi, known as Stephen, 39, and Stephen’s wife Oluwatumininu Banjo, 40, also known as Tumi – are currently on the run and believed to be in Nigeria. Simon York, director of HMRC’s fraud investigation service, said: “These criminals launched an organised attack on the tax credits system, a system designed to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society.”
The scam was uncovered in late 2009 following concerns about the volumes of new claims for civil servants, predominantly for working tax credits.
A criminal investigation began in 2010 and the fraudsters were eventually tracked down. Adedamola Oyebode was given a suspended two-year jail sentence and Oluwatobi Odeyemi was jailed for three and a half years.