Search

Jet setting mother jailed for 15 months in Havering Council’s biggest ever benefit fraud

16:38 21 June 2012

cash

cash

Archant

A woman who claimed to be a struggling single mum-of-two was sentenced to 15 months in prison at Basildon Crown Court today (Thursday June 21) after Havering Council uncovered her double life as a jet-setting wife of a London black cab driver.

Maxine Kemp (nee Green), 45, had admitted fraudulently claiming more than £165,000 in benefits over a 20-year period, despite living in an expensively furnished home and enjoying numerous holidays abroad with her husband.

She started claiming benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in 1991. After marrying Frederick Kemp she then began claiming housing and Council tax benefits as a single person.

Kemp’s fraud was uncovered after the Council carried out a credit check which revealed she lived with Mr Kemp in Bevan Way, Hornchurch.

A joint investigation was carried out by Havering Council and the DWP. Officers visiting the family home found £5,500 in cash at the property and were left in no doubt that the pair were living together as a married couple.

All of Mr Kemp’s clothes and possessions were found in the shared bedroom and during interviews they admitted taking numerous holidays abroad together.

During the investigation officers found that Kemp used her maiden name Green to claim benefits while using her married name for everything else.

His Honour Judge Owen-Jones said: “You have dishonestly made these claims for almost 20 years, lying from the outset and continuing that lie that you were a single woman when in fact you were married from a very young age.

“What is sad is that you are an intelligent and articulate lady who could have done very well and gained lawful employment, you did not do that.

“Even when the officers came to your house you continued to lie and say your husband was your brother.

“Your actions were thoroughly dishonest so only immediate custody is appropriate. Theft of this kind on the public purse cannot be condoned.”

Kemp had an unsettled background. She had been with her husband since she was at school and had their first child at 16. She claimed Mr Kemp came and went from her life so she relied on benefits to ensure she could support her children.

Councillor Roger Ramsey, Cabinet Member for Value, said: “I am pleased to see that justice has been done today and the judge saw fit to jail this fraudster.

“The benefits system is there to support the most vulnerable members of our community when they are in need so it is deplorable to steal such a large sum of money from our Council taxpayers while enjoying all the trappings of a wealthy lifestyle.

A payment plan has been set up with the Council for Kemp to repay the money.

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 16:44
Atlanta Boulevard, part of the ring road around the town centre. Picture: Google Maps Street View.

Proposals on the introduction of a 20mph speed limit zone in Romford town centre received just four responses from residents.

Yesterday, 14:00
The Mayor of Havering Cllr Philippa Crowder and Iain Duncan Smith MP at the launch of the new rail training academy at Havering College

A rail training programme, which helps the long-term unemployed back into work was officially launched yesterday.

Yesterday, 13:30
An anonymous collectioners sent the Coopers' Company and Coborn School one of their badges estimated to date back from the early 1900s or late 1800s.

A school received an usual letter from an anonymous collector, who found a 100-year-old badge in a flea market.

Yesterday, 11:49
Robert Jones (second from right) and those supporting the petition in Farnham Road on Saturday.

Around 1,000 signatures have been gathered from concerned customers in a bid to stop a busy post office becoming a franchised branch.

Yesterday, 10:28
Natasha Lewis and James Noar playing Cinderella and the Prince in Queen's Theatre's pantomime. Picture: Mark Sepple

A panto is not my first choice of entertainment and I usually get a headache when watching one from constantly rolling my eyes.

Yesterday, 07:00
Amy Bundy, right, wins bronze at the 2016 Pre-Cadet British Judo Championships in Sheffield. Photo: Mike Varey.

A girl who was born with a hole in her heart has beaten the odds to become a martial arts champion.

Tue, 17:37
Lauren Squire Georgina Quarmby Isabel Squire- Yates Carole Squire Ben Yates

It’s your last chance to sign up to Sunday’s Santathon in aid of Saint Francis Hospice.

Tue, 15:41
Robert Darling. Picture: Metropolitan Police

An armed robber who managed to steal thousands of pounds from three different travel agents has been jailed for 13 years.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

£3,000 goes a long way at Boots

Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

Kit yourself out and go Apple mad!

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now