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New Malden couple jailed for elaborate £100,000 benefits scam
A husband and wife who stole £100,000 from the taxpayer have been jailed.
Abiodun Ganiat Animashaun, 50, and her husband Kehinde Ade Solate, 60, created dual identities in an elaborate scheme to con Merton Council and Hammersmith & Fulham Council out of £96,256 in housing benefits.
Between December 2004 and September 2010, while living at their home in Seaforth Avenue, New Malden, the couple created aliases, of Mary Williams and Kehinde Sina Williams Solate.
Using these aliases, they illegally sub-let a housing association flat in Gledstanes Road, West Kensington, where Animashaun claimed she lived as a single mother collecting benefits from Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
The couple fabricated a tenancy agreement claiming Animashaun was the tenant and her husband was the landlord, despite the fact that they were living together in New Malden in a house owned by Solate.
False tenancy agreements for three other address were also forged for a house in Sandy Hill Road in Plumstead and two separate addresses in Tavistock Place in Central London in order to claim benefits from Merton Council.
As well as having two names, Animashaun also had two national insurance numbers.
An investigation by the councils and police in July 2011 found links to prove that Animashaun and Williams were the same person after documents in the name of Mary Williams, but with a national insurance number belonging to Amimashaun, were uncovered.
After an eight day trial at Kingston Crown Court, the pair were found guilty of 16 fraud offences.
Animashaun was jailed for 14 months and Solate for 18 months on Tuesday (December 4).
A spokesman for Merton Council said: "We will not tolerate any type of fraud in Merton.
"Housing benefit is for those in need and we will come down hard on anyone who is stealing from the public purse."