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

Reporters Ann-Marie Abbasah and Hayley Anderson with soul legend Jocelyn Brown.

With a hit laden set list, there was no mountain high enough to keep veteran singer Jocelyn Brown from rocking the crowd at the Havering Show, yesterday.

09:35
Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Gurdial Bhamra, chairman of Morden Cllr Peter Elliot, Bedrock Hospital Radio's mascot, mayor of Havering Cllr Philippa Crowder and mayor of Brentwood Cllr Noelle Hones.

Day two of the Havering Show kicks off from 11am today at Harrow Lodge Park, Hornchurch, with a line-up featuring something for everyone.

07:00
Amplify founders Tom Murch and Jack Withing

A pair of music lovers are making some noise across the borough as they launched their own T-shirt brand.

Yesterday, 19:35
Reporters Hayley Anderson and Ann-Marie Abbasah at the Havering Show.

From wrestling and BMX tricks to star acts and fair ground rides, the first day of the Havering Show had it all.

Yesterday, 15:00
Romford playwright Dan Murphy will open a festival in Havering with a performance of his play Skinny Legs. Picture:Arnaud Stephenson

The thought-provoking work of a young playwright will open a festival of fresh and innovative plays in Havering.

Yesterday, 10:00
40-years-ago

A look back at the biggest local stories from this week 20, 40 and 60 years ago.

Yesterday, 08:02
Jocelyn Brown will be headling at the Havering Show. Photo: PA Archive/PA Images

The Havering Show kicks off from 11am today at Harrow Lodge Park, Hornchurch, with a line-up featuring something for everyone.

Saturday, August 27, 2016
Our reporter Matt Clemenson with Keith Prince and Peter McNaught, Operational Director of the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria Lines on board the first official Night Tube from Kings Cross station.

Last weekend, Reporter Matthew Clemenson joined Havering’s London Assembly member Keith Prince on a tour of the new 24-hour service. Here is his full account.

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

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

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