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Crooked couple jailed after £188,000 property swindle

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Crooked couple jailed after £188,000 property swindle

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing, Legal

Crooked couple jailed after 188,000 property swindle Crooked couple jailed after 188,000 property swindle

A married couple have been jailed for carrying out a seven-year £188,000 benefit fraud, which helped buy properties and finance mortgage repayments.

Nicole Mwamba, 48, and William Kapuya, 47, both of Campbell Road, Caterham, were last month found guilty at Croydon Crown Court of a combined 18 offences in relation to the scam, which took place between 2004 and 2011.

Mwamba claimed housing and council tax benefit, yet failed to tell Croydon Council that she had bought and held mortgages for two properties, in Beulah Grove, Selhurst, and Campbell Road, Caterham.

The thief told Croydon Council she lived in Langdale Road, Thornton Heath, and failed to declare that she was living with her partner in crime and husband.

Meanwhile, she told Tandridge Council that she was a tenant at the Campbell Road, Caterham address, even inventing a landlord alias called 'Nikole Kapuya'.

She also used a Belgian national’s details to claim housing benefit.

Husband William Kapuya also busied himself with a number of crooked activities, committing a series of fraud offences by claiming benefits while failing to tell the authorities that he was living with Mwamba.

Instead, he told Croydon Council on one occasion that he was residing in Ferndale Road, South Norwood, and needed rehousing, while on another said he lived alone in Partridge Knoll, Purley.

Additionally, when applying for a severe disability premium, Kapuya told the Department for Work and Pensions that he didn’t live with his partner.

Councillor Simon Hall, cabinet member for finance and treasury, said: “This fraud was only exposed following a very complex investigation, so it is a credit to all involved in the prosecution for bringing this case to a successful conclusion.

“These two individuals cheated the taxpayer out of a colossal sum of money by claiming they were single people with no sources of income or capital.

“It serves as a lesson to other fraudsters out there that you will be caught, and made to pay back the benefits you have illegally claimed.”

Mwamba was sentenced to 30 months in prison, while Kapuya handed a 14-month sentence.

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