Emmanuel Ikem sent to prison after conning Croydon Council out of thousands
A fraudster who assumed a string of false identities to con the council out of more than £90,000 in benefits has been jailed for two years.
Emmanuel Ikem, 27, of Hawthorn Avenue, Thornton Heath, used 13 identities to claim the money, between February 2007 and June 2012.
Croydon Crown Court was told on Monday that Ikem made multiple false housing benefit claims, setting up different bank accounts so he could receive the money.
He created false documents and Julius Capon, prosecuting, said that a considerable amount of planning had gone into claiming the money.
Mr Capon told the court that fake birth certificates were made, along with false tenancy agreements and utility bills. He said various other letters were also forged, including ones from the job centre.
Ikem pleaded guilty to 17 counts of fraud by misrepresentation, and was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court to two years in prison because he had pleaded guilty.
Ikem also admitted a further three counts of insurance fraud, spanning from 2009 to 2011, where he accumulated £8,000.
In sentencing, Judge Jeremy Gold said: "It is never nice to send a man into custody for the first time.
"But you have committed a series of frauds. You have put so much thought into it, its a shame that it didn't go into any lawful activity.
He said: "You chose to rely on dishonesty resulting in a loss of £90,000 to the public purse.
"That is quite apart from the three insurance frauds of £8,000.
"I have read the letters from your family and it is a shame that this will leave you all affected by your dishonesty."
Ikem was visibly upset when the sentence was given, along with friends and family. One person told him to keep his head up.
DC Jim Cann, from Croydon Police's financial investigation unit, said he was pleased with the sentence.
He said: "It was a fair sentence. It reflects the amount of crime he committed. We will attempt to get as much money back as possible to pay back the council.
"Around £15,000 has been identified so far."