Jailed fraudster ordered to repay £400k from housing scam

A man from Newton Heath has been ordered to pay £400,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act for a number of offences including fraudulently obtaining housing benefits.

Babatunde Temitope Oni, 44, formerly of Crosby Road, Newton Heath was ordered to pay £400,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act at Manchester Crown Court on 8 November 2013.

Oni was convicted in April 2012 of fraudulently obtaining housing benefit, council tax benefit, job seekers allowance and employment support allowance amounting to £39,086.24 and was given a 21 month custodial sentence. Oni was convicted in a separate matter on 5 June 2013 for which he is yet to be sentenced.

Oni pleaded guilty to dishonestly claiming he was renting a property which he owned and failing to declare he owned a second house in Radcliffe.

At the hearing the judge decided that Oni must pay £400,000, in respect of this and his other criminal activities.

Oni has been given six months to pay the £400,000, should he fail to do so he will then have to serve a further 42-month custodial sentence.

City Council's counter fraud officers uncovered the offences following a data matching exercise designed to detect fraudulent and incorrect payments of benefit.

As there were identifiable assets the services of a Financial Investigator from Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council were engaged. Their enquiries continued after the conviction resulting in hearings under the Proceeds of Crime Act, culminating in an order being awarded on 8 November 2013.

Cllr Jeff Smith, Manchester City Council executive member for finance and human resources, said: "This case shows just how seriously we take fraud and how grave the consequences can be for offenders.

"This prosecution should act as a warning; we will not tolerate this type of deception. Benefit Fraud is far from a victimless crime and amounts to stealing money from honest tax payers."
Any money collected under the terms of Proceeds of Crime Order will go to a number of organisations including HM Treasury, the Ministry of Justice and Manchester City Council.

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Tip of the iceberg…

By Kwix

Ahh…Newton Heath: used to turn out some of the most prolific armed robbers in the north west. Must be evolving…

By Opi

Yeah but he will probably be paying £1 a week or something silly under an ‘arrangement to pay’ like when criminals sell stolen cars! Its ridiculous!

By Mary Spring

Hey! Don’t give the idea that Newton Heath is full of criminals . However I have a confession that’s played on my mind for years. I once pressed a Pelican crossing button and didn’t cross. Shame on me!

By Mike

Only in England. No official IDs (make up your identity as needed). No official Registered Residences (live at multiple addresses and claim for them all. The only country in the world without IDs and Residence Registration. This is so that you can claim for non-existent families and so on. Millions of pounds for free; just fill in the forms. No questions asked. Funny country. Funny folk – the English. No regional goverment either. They don’t want it. Much better having everythng decided by London-based civil servants. Strange country.

By james hoviley

Newton Heath…whoops I meant Mos Eisley Spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.

By Obi-Wan

James Hoviley: a RealTalker. Beware, James, though you speak the truth there are sick factions that would class that as CrimeThink.

By TinkerSell