A COUPLE who admitted being benefit frauds could be forced to repay Thurrock Council thousands of pounds.

Hazel Ogunsanya, 29, and husband Olasupo, 28, jetted around the world after using forged documents to falsely claim benefits.

The couple, of Coleman Close, Stanford-le-Hope, failed to declare that they were married and living together.

Mrs Ogunsanya claimed benefits for another property in Grays, but the woman she alleged was her landlady was found to be dead.

Mr Ogunsanya pretended he was a single parent and falsely claimed income support and housing and council tax benefit.

Their four year con was uncovered following a joint operation between Thurrock Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

After being convicted of 12 offences at Basildon Crown Court in May, Mr Ogunsanya was sentenced to 21 months in jail and Mrs Ogunsanya to 15 months.

They will now return to court for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing.
When officers visited their home they discovered £23,000 in cash.

The hearing will determine whether this money belonged to them or someone else, and could be given to Thurrock Council as part of a confiscation order.

Mr and Mrs Ogunsanya, who have a six year-old daughter, will appear at Basildon Crown Court on January 31.