Wednesday 18 May 2011

gang of Romanian gypsies flew in and out of Britain to defraud taxpayers out of more than £800,000 through a series of benefit scams

The gang commited the "sophisticated and professional" scam from various Government departments, in a "flagrant" breach of the system, Southwark Crown Court, in London, heard.
The fraud was made by the claimants using forged home office documents and job references to illegally obtain national insurance numbers, which they used to claim a range of state handouts.
The gang, the majority of whom are originally from Tandare, in the country's west, were jailed yesterday for a total of 10 years.
Telus Dumitru, 36, of Nottingham, admitted conspiracy to defraud and his wife Ramona Dumitru and the seven other members of the gang to various counts of obtaining a money order by deception, fraud and theft.
The court heard that Dumitru, who masterminded the fraud, entered the UK in August 1999, and was removed in 2001, only to return again soon after.
From 2003 until they were caught in 2009 Dumitru would supply his gang with fraudulent Home Office documents, passports and fake Romanian birth certificates as well as fraudulent work references so they could claim the benefits.
Christopher Hehir, prosecuting, told the court that one of the gang, Claudia Radu, even flew in from Romania every few months just to claim her state benefit.
She was stopped at Stansted airport with 13,000 euros and £1800 stashed in her bag
Dumitru also obtained fake work reference from British citizen Abdellatif Lemsatef, who admitted to supplying articles for use in fraud, so his gang could get National Insurance numbers and fraudulently claim tax credits.
Judge Gregory Stone said the fraud was professionally planned and committed over a significant period.
"This was a major undermining of the UK benefits system.
"It was a professional fraud that occurred over a significant time frame and resulted in a very serious loss to the UK authorities. "
While Telus wife Romana, 33, "was not capable of professionally planning the fraud" she did benefit to the tune of £800,000.
She had also had a money order for more than 20,000 euros.
"You have flown in and out of Romania to make your claims and commit your fraud. This shows a flagrant and persistent approach to offending which is an aggravating feature in your case," he said.



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