Monday, 14 November 2016

Seven Years For African Benefits Fraudster Who Swindled £191K

Seven Up: Angel Jackson
A “vain and self-important” benefit fraudster, who faked disability and created multiple identities during a £191,414 swindle, received seven years on Friday. 

Ghana-born Angel Jackson, 52, of Greenwood Road, Mitcham claimed she was confined to a wheelchair, but was caught on CCTV using the treadmill at her luxury block’s private gym.

Judge Adam Hiddleston told her: “You maintained you could not walk off the prison bus everyday. This was manifestly dishonest and there is no medical evidence to say you cannot walk.

“True to your character you aimed to deceive,” he told the mum-of-one, who used benefits to purchase a lucrative property portfolio, VW 4x4 and enjoy foreign holidays.  

“There was nothing to prevent your participation in the trial, you had nothing more serious than indigestion, yet strung things out as long as you could to engineer sone sort of mistrial.

“You have shown a quite remarkable and staggering contempt for the court, the jury and this case.

“You are a thoroughly dishonest person. Dishonest through and through, to your very core.”

A Croydon Crown Court jury convicted her of thirty-two offences, covering thirteen years from 2002, made up of fraud, using false identities and one count of illegally evicting a tenant.

She claimed a variety of benefits from Croydon and Merton Council’s and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) while also collecting rents as a landlady on property she owned.

“You have practiced deception on a truly epic scale, targeting everyone that crossed your path, councils, insurance companies with a fictitious car accident claim and your ex-husband, who lost his assets, his dignity.  

Jackson: Fraudster Wheeled Into Court
“You put great energy into the tasks to give an air of legitimacy and you have been relentless, even when obstacles were placed in your way.

“You are a professional fraudster, that’s your life’s work. You created several personalities, changed your name, had various passports, applications for benefits, numerous bank accounts and mortgages and re-mortgages.

“You masqueraded as both a landlord and tenant and used your computer to skilfully forge letterheads.

“Millions of taxpayers pay their taxes without complaint. You have not paid a penny.

“You have taken and taken and taken and never given anything back.

“Who knows how many school places and hospital beds could have been provided by the local authorities you cheated.

“You have shown no shame, no significant remorse.

“Your bank accounts were awash with cash as a result of your dishonest activities.

“You can be a thoroughly nasty and vindictive person.

“Maybe as a result of the creation of so many identities you have become a vain and self-important person and plainly do not like anyone crossing your path.”

Prosecutor Francesca Levett told the court: “She accrued significant assets at the expense of the state, had foreign holidays, plenty of money in the bank and is extending her home.”

Her concierge-assisted luxury flat had a gym in the building, which Jackson used, despite claiming she was disabled.

“That was a facility the defendant herself used. While coming to court wheelchair-bound she was seen on CCTV using the gym and was on the treadmill for forty-five minutes.”

Jackson went AWOL for two weeks halfway through the trial and was arrested at her GP surgery, spending the rest of the proceedings in prison.

The prosecution say she claimed housing benefit on the properties, while ordering her private tenants not make any claims themselves or liaise with the local authorities.

“Her ability to recover both rent and housing benefit allowed her to gain assets at the expense of the ratepayers and legitimate benefit claimants.”

She would deposit bundles of cash - up to £50,000 - in her various bank accounts and £22,000 was found her in wardrobe.

Aliases include Angel Duffy and Diva Paris Anderson

Miss Levett added: “Miss Jackson uses, or has used a number of different names and dates of birth for reasons that cannot be legitimate.”

She married Irishman Thomas Francis Duffy, 61, but he became another victim, with heavies accompanying Jackson to his front door to collect maintenance payments.

“When using the name Angel Duffy the defendant presents herself as a respectable property owner and marketing consultant, married to a lawyer with plenty of funds in the bank.

“When using the names Quinn Portia Jackson or Angel Jackson the defendant presents as a lone parent, who becomes a mature student whilst fighting illness and disability, which makes her incapable of work, becoming wholly reliant on benefits to assist her.”

“When using the name Diva Paris Anderson the defendant portraits herself as a British national, a teacher at Queen Mary University.”

It is claimed her “alter ego” Paris Anderson, of 11 Danbrook Road, Streatham made £2,500 per month providing care and assistance to the wheelchair-bound Angel Jackson.

“She manipulated the system, told countless lies, hijacked identities and defrauded her way into becoming an affluent property owner without working a single day.”

Jackson’s claims began in 1998 when she successfully applied for income support and housing benefit as a single mum living at 167 Livingstone Road, Thornton Heath under the name Quinn Portia Jackson.

She changed her name by deed poll in September, 2001 to Angel Jackson and married Thomas Duffy on Valentine’s Day, 2002 at Wandsworth Town Hall.

He agreed to assist her immigration status by getting married, but it was never consummated and they did not live together.

Jackson moved into 126 Woodville Road, Thornton Heath with her 14 year-old daughter Latoya and continued receiving housing benefit for her old address and did not tell the DWP she was now married.

The couple bought 71 Greenwood Road, Mitcham in August 2002 with the help of fake accounts to support the mortgage application. 

“Mr. Duffy says he recalled going to see a broker and recalls signing things, but he couldn’t tell you what he was signing.

“He said that whenever he needed to sign something presented to him by his wife his glasses would disappear.”

The Home Office granted her leave to remain for five years in August, 2007, but rejected an application on behalf of her daughter.

When Irishman Duffy asks for a divorce Jackson’s anger forced him to back down.

To avoid paying council tax at 71 Greenwood Road Jackson invented a tenant, Francesca Bennett, who purportedly lived their alone and racked up a £2,500 bill.

Mr. Duffy’s share of ownership was removed behind his back and Jackson divorced him in October, 2008, eight months after receiving permanent UK residence.

Jackson bought 37 Solent Court, London Road, Norbury in July, 2005 for £150,000 and put it in her ex-husband’s name without his knowledge.

Two months later she bought 39 Solent Court for £152,500.

Jackson claimed £750 a month housing benefit for 37 Solent Court, declaring she did not own any property.

She had taken control of her ex-husband’s finances, his passport and driving licence, but failed to pay the mortgage on his home at 174 Whitehorse Lane, which was repossessed.

“He simply went and lived in a room at his sister’s property and describes himself as confused and afraid.

“He had lost everything, but the defendant still came and collected his wages every week.

“He was depressed and fragile, frightened to open his door.”

Mr. Duffy told investigators Jackson was often accompanied by big, burly men and the best thing that ever happened to him was bankruptcy because there was nothing more she could take.

The prosecution also say she forged a letter from the Dean of Kingston College, confirming to the council Latoya was still a student there.

Jackson declared her only bank account was £1,395 overdrawn when in reality she had two Barclay and three NatWest accounts containing over £65,500.

After a June, 2007 car accident Jackson successfully claimed £53,500 in care and assistance for herself and her daughter, paying themselves via aliases.

Jackson began a business degree at Queen Mary University in September, 2007, the same day her daughter began a law degree.

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