Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Chibuikem Uzoma-Ubani in 1.3 million pounds Fraud

A man of many charms it seems, this man was able to persuade several lovers to help him launder money.
Chibuikem Uzoma-Ubani, a Nigerian in the UK has been jailed for hijacking the identities of soldiers and nurses in a 1.3million pounds benefits plot. He has been convicted and jailed for six years.
Uzoma-Ubani and fellow Nigerian Leonard Nwannenah, 33, of Dagenham, Essex, opened a ‘bewildering’ 752 bank accounts using the names of hard-working medics and members of the armed forces over a six-year period.
Read more and see pictures of some of his numerous lovers and accomplices at the break.

Denisa Camacho, 28, of Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, and Katrina Papiernikova, 27, of  Romford, Essex both had relationships with Uzoma-Ubani, after arriving in the UK from Slovakia and were accused of turning a blind eye to his activities.
Uzoma-Ubani, of Romford, Essex, married Camacho married in 2004, then divorced her and had two children by Papiernikova.
The women both insisted they knew nothing about his crooked schemes and were both cleared of money laundering, but a third lover Ornela Miguel, 26, admitted the offence.
Uzoma-Ubani and fellow Nigerian Leonard Nwannenah, 33, of Dagenham, Essex, opened a ‘bewildering’ 752 bank accounts using the names of hard-working medics and members of the armed forces over a six-year period.
The pair were jailed for six years each while Miguel was handed a three-month sentence, suspended for 12 months.
Nwanneneh’s younger brother Okechi Nwannenah, 30, of Dagenham and Okechi’s wife Jennifer Okonkwo, 29, also allowed their bank accounts to be used to launder the proceeds.
Okechi was conditionally discharged for 18 months while Okonkwo will be sentenced later.
Prosecutor Peter Finnigan QC said the gang netted at least £665,000 and would have made £1.3million had all of the bogus applications for benefit payments been successful.
He said: ‘This case concerns the sophisticated and professional fraud operation which went on for a number of years.
‘This was done by targeting the UK’s benefit system and by cheque fraud.
‘They used a bewildering number of post office and bank accounts which numbered in the hundreds.
‘Some of the accounts were in the names of the fraudsters themselves, some were in the names of others who were willing to help them, and yet others were in the names of identities which had been hijacked by the fraudsters.
‘They did not get away with everything they tried because fraudulent applications were weeded out.
‘In one such instance, a serving member of the army, had his identity hijacked, and not only were cheques diverted to Mr Uzoma-Ubami, but applications for benefits were made in his name, albeit in Uzoma-Ubami’s hand writing.’
The prosecutor added that Uzoma-Ubami had 159 bank accounts, either in his name or an alias, and police seized £200,000 from them.
Leonard Nwanneneh controlled at least 42 accounts and admitted he had used many more after illegally entering the country.
‘The total number of bank accounts was 752, used in the identity frauds,’ said Mr Finnigan.
‘Of those 752, 282 and were active accounts in that they received the proceeds of the frauds, and during the course of the investigation over £1million had passed through them.
‘The remaining 360 or so accounts were being prepared for future frauds.’
Sentencing at The Old Bailey today, Judge John Price said: ‘It was an extremely sophisticated fraud using three different types; intercepting cheques, tax credit fraud, and false maternity grants.
‘These required several false identities, and false national insurance numbers.
‘In some cases they assumed the identity of nurses, falsifying their pin numbers to potentially have taken £1.3million over a number of years.
‘This was a substantial fraud that targeted the benefits system.
‘Tax credits are there to help poor people, the money you took, took it away from them.’
Jailing Uzoma-Ubani for six years he said: ‘I have no doubt that you were a leader of this group, who organised it and kept it running.
‘I will sentence you on the basis that it was sheer good luck, that you didn’t manager to acquire the full £1.3 million.
‘If you have any money hidden away, the authorities will find it, and you will pay it back, or you will spend more time in prison.’
Sentencing Leonard Nwannenah to six years jail Judge Price said: ‘The worst thing about you in this case is that you got your brother and his wife involved, and for that you should feel guilty.’
Speaking after sentence a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: ‘Uzoma-Ubani and his co-conspirators had attempted to swindle the Government departments and many individual victims out of more than £1.3m.
‘Their sole motivation appears to have been greed; to fund their lifestyles.
‘This was a long and complex investigation which involved preparing 5,000 exhibits, analysing more than 100 fingerprints, 800 bank accounts and preparing more than 25,000 pages of evidence.
‘The conviction of this gang should act as a warning to others that the UK’s law enforcement agencies will use all the methods at our disposal to root out their corrupt practices and bring those responsible to justice.’

from DailyMail

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