Thursday, May 30

London Grenfell fraudster gets jailed who claimed £19k for her loss


 

 

A fraudster who pretended her husband was killed in the Grenfell Tower fire in order to claim thousands of pounds worth of handouts has been jailed.

Joyce Msokeri, 47, posed as a resident of the west London tower and said she had been left a widow after losing her husband in the fire on June 14.

In the wake of the tragedy she accepted £19,000 worth of money, accommodation and other donations that was made available to victims.

On Friday she was found guilty of fraud at the Old Bailey and jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Upon sentencing Msokeri, Judge Michael Grieve QC described her actions as callous and contemptible, indeed disgusting

Msokeri claimed she had moved into Grenfell Tower in February 2017 to live with her husband – who she said had died in the fire along with her sister-in-law.

In reality she had been miles away at her home in Sutton, south London, at the time of the fire.

She falsely claimed food, clothing, money and accommodation in the Hilton hotel in Kensington – where she stayed for nearly six weeks after the fire.

The court heard that her hotel room was so full of clothes and other goods that she was forced to store a pile of suitcases in the concierge’s room.

As part of her scam Msokeri told investigators that, after the fire, she discovered her husband had survived and had been living in a cave in Margate where he was fed by tourists.

She even persuaded a vulnerable man to pose as her husband and went to the length of admitting him into a mental health ward to support her claim for compensation and a new home.

She was found guilty of three counts of fraud and one possession of a false identity document with improper intention on March 15.

The sum of £19,000 was spent on food and accommodation but Msokeri had the potential to receive a total of £203,000 worth of benefits had she not been arrested.

Msokeri showed no emotion as she was sentenced.

Kate Middleton, Prince William, More Attend Memorial for Grenfell Tower Victims Kate Mulholland of the CPS said: “Msokeri’s offences were not just about money but involved the exploitation of extremely vulnerable people, as well as the breach of trust of survivors, donors and relief workers.

Our prosecution showed she persuaded one vulnerable man to pretend to be her husband as part of her scam.

She also claimed her supposed husband had not died in the fire as she first thought, but had been living in a cave.

This was all to satisfy her greed and she will now have to face the consequences of her dishonesty.