Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TGNEWS to 80360 or you can email us Click here for details »
Benefits cheat used dead child's name to con cash
7:30am Friday 8th March 2013 in News
A BENEFIT cheat was sentenced to two years in prison after admitting a £90,000 fraud – including using the name of a dead child to con the council out of cash.
Elizabeth Anyele Tetteh appeared at Basildon Crown Court where it was heard Thurrock Council fraud staff uncovered offences going back more than a decade.
Tetteh fraudulently claimed income support and job seeker’s allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions and housing and council tax benefit for Rosedale Road, Grays, from Thurrock Council.
The fraud involved lying about the property, which she claimed to be renting, as well as using false documents, false identities and lying about her income – including using the identity of a deceased child.
During the investigations, the defendant was seen several times, from March 2009, signing-on at Grays Job Centre then going to work at a salon in Walthamstow.
The owner of the salon confirmed he had let the premises to an Elizabeth Burridge in 2006 on a nine-year lease. Signs at the shop gave two telephone numbers, one of which was a number she had provided to the Department for Work and Pensions in Burridge’s bid for income support.
Another alias was in the name of Nicola Copeland. Inquiries revealed a National Insurance number had never been issued to her, suggesting she may have died as a child.
In January 2008, using the name of Nicola Burridge, Tetteh completed an application for job seeker’s allowance giving her home address as Rosedale Road and saying she was unemployed. She stated she had a private landlord, a Miss Tetteh.
Later that year and using her own name, Tetteh claimed income support using an address in London.
In April 2009, police officers attended a number of addresses linked to the defendant, including Rosedale Road, which was empty and sub-divided into three properties.
At one London address, tenants said their landlady was called Elizabeth and at another London address Tetteh herself was present. Overall it was calculated she was overpaid £90,549.96 in benefits.
Tetteh, now of Forest Road, Walth-amstow, admitted 17 counts of fraud.