Harold Hill fraudster jailed for loan scheme scam worth almost £500k
- Credit: Metropolitan Police
A woman from Harold Hill has been jailed for her part in a loan scheme scam which saw £489,000 obtained fraudulently from eight people.
On March 17, Timilehin Yvette Olasemo, of Bedale Road, was given a prison sentence of three years and two months for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
She and co-defendant Olufumi David Akinneye, of Cowthorpe Road, Lambeth, exploited a government loan scheme to fraudulently obtain the money using the identities of eight unknowing individuals.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the government created the coronavirus bounce back loan scheme to help struggling businesses manage.
The loan scheme was set up to ensure that applicants were looked upon favourably, meaning that limited security checks were undertaken.
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Southwark Crown Court heard how Olasemo exploited the weaknesses in the application system and realised that she, with assistance of others, could create fake businesses - using the identities of real people - to apply for the loans.
As the business account had been registered to a separate address from the personal account holder’s address, its existence would not become apparent to the real personal account holder until the bank chased them for the loan repayments.
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Akinneye was identified first during ongoing enquiries into organised crime, with Olasemo identified from evidence seized during Akinneye’s arrest.
It was identified that the pair had made £489,000 worth of fraudulent loan applications; £297,000 was successfully obtained, the remainder stopped by the managing banks.
Olasemo stole the eight identities after accessing employee records containing personal information during her employment. The stolen monies were dispersed into mule accounts to then be withdrawn at cash machines.
Throughout Olasemo was advised by Akinneye, who was jailed for five years and six months for conspiracy to money launder and conspiracy to commit fraud.
The pair both pleaded guilty on November 12, 2020 at Southwark Crown Court, before returning to be sentenced four months later.