Zimbabwean man jailed for multiple benefit fraud in Swansea

SWANSEA, Wales – A MAN from Zimbabwe fraudulently claimed more than £14,000 of benefits in Swansea using a stolen identity.\r\n

Now the man is facing the prospect of deportation when he has served a 23-month sentence having been found guilty of 14 charges of dishonesty in respect of benefit fraud, and one of fraudulently obtaining a UK passport.

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The Zimbabwean, who’s real name is still not known, is just one of 43 fraudsters who were convicted last year following investigations that included Swansea Council’s Benefits Investigation Team.

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Identity

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\r\n\r\n\r\nTal Davies, Swansea Council investigations manager, said: “This was a case featuring theft of the identity of a man from Berkshire by a man from Zimbabwe who went on to fraudulently claim benefits in Swansea using the stolen identity.

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“He then disappeared but we tracked him down to Rugby in the West Midlands, with help from Warwickshire Police and the DWP.

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“This case yet again proves that however much people try to evade us, there is no hiding place for benefits fraudsters who cheat the public.

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“Every effort will now be made to recover all of the overpaid benefit. We are also delighted that the investigation has given the real Graham Spencer his identity back.” The man had obtained a UK passport in Mr Spencer’s name in 1999 and had been living off his identity for more than a decade.

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Using that stolen identity he fraudulent claimed Housing Benefit at two addresses in Swansea between early 2007 and late 2008.

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He was convicted of all 15 charges after pleading guilty at Leamington Spa Crown Court in late February.

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Work by the Benefits Investigation Team in the last financial year has resulted in 136 people being sanctioned for fraud.

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In addition to the 43 guilty verdicts, fraudsters accepted punishments including 78 formal cautions and 15 administrative penalties, the latter being a fine of 30 per cent of the overpaid benefit. Currently, the team has 301 cases under investigation. – This South Wales