A Nigerian cleaner working in Halifax who used a disabled woman’s identity to obtain employment and a council house in the UK has been jailed for 12 months.
Helyn Jennifer George, 48, of Crescent Towers, Leeds, was in the UK illegally and had no right to work when she was discovered working as a cleaner in Calderdale.
Leeds Crown Court heard how the fraud was uncovered in May this year, when HMRC contacted the disabled woman as their records showed she was claiming disability benefits while continuing to work. The case was passed to the Home Office Criminal Investigations team, and their investigation revealed that the woman’s identity had been stolen by George who had used her birth certificate to obtain her job as a cleaner.
George was arrested and her fingerprints revealed her real identity and that she had been in the country illegally since 2006.
She was charged with 13 separate offences of fraud by false representation - 12 in regards to her employment and one in regards to obtaining a council house tenancy. She pleaded guilty to all charges.
The judge also recommended George be deported once she has served her sentence.
Mark Runagall, from Home Office Criminal Investigations, said: “This case should send a clear warning to those who are in the UK illegally and who believe they can live and work here without being caught that this is not the case.
“Home Office Criminal Investigations work closely with other government departments and partner agencies, and if you are involved in criminal activity you will be caught.
“When we uncover criminal offences our dedicated, well resourced and expert teams will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute.”
Anyone with information about suspected immigration abuse can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or visit http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org.