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Homeless man Alvin Thompson 50 denies £86,000 Grenfell Tower fraud claiming hotel and food bills

14 people have now been convicted of fraud over the Grenfell Fire disaster.

 Sharife Elouahbi 

The 38-year-old, claimed to be living with a family of five on the 21st floor of the west London apartment block.

He was given £300 a week in food expenses and was put up in three different hotels, which were funded by the Grenfell disaster fund, before getting kicked out of two for breaking the rules.

The career criminal had 28 previous convictions, including stealing pictures of singer Will Young in drag to sell them to the press, robbery and assault.

Elouahbi was due to receive further resettlement payments worth another £14,730 towards a flat and free utilities before he was caught by police.

He was jailed for six years at Isleworth Crown Court after becoming the thirteenth person to be convicted of ‘Grenfell fraud’ and the person to steal the most from the fund set up to support victims of the fire that killed 72 people last June.

Abolaji Onafuye

The Nigerian father-of-five claimed Zainab Deen, 32, who perished in the blaze was his sister and he was sharing a flat with her.

He was put up at one of London’s top hotels and racked up a total bill of more than £35,000.

Onafuye later admitted he was not staying at the tower block and said he must have been ‘hallucinating’ when he claimed he was. 

Local taxpayers in Kensington and Chelsea footed the £23,500 bill for Onafuye’s stay at the four-star Grosvenor Hotel in Buckingham Palace Road.

Onafuye received another £13,000 in living costs after he was moved to a flat in Gorleston Street, Hammersmith – where two bedroom apartments can cost up to £500,000.

A jury at Isleworth Crown Court convicted Onafuye of two counts of fraud by false representation between 21 June last year and 7 June this year.

Koffi Kouakou

This west Londoner lied about his girlfriend dying in the Grenfell tragedy to swindle the council out of thousands of pounds meant for real survivors. 53-year-old Koffi Kouakou of Westfield Close, Coleridge Gardens claimed he had been living in the tower with his girlfriend, an occupant who died in the tragic fire.

Following his claimed Kensington and Chelsea Council put him up in a hotel for two months before re-homing him in council accommodation.

The council spent more than £30,000 on accommodation for Kouakou who was found to be lying following a Metropolitan Police investigation.

Police confirmed Kouakou had not been living in Grenfell Tower and that he had not been in a relationship with the woman.

He pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at Isleworth Crown Court on October 17 and was jailed for four years.

Mohammed Syed Rinku

Illegal immigrant Mohammed Syed Rinku, claimed he was in a relationship with a Grenfell Tower Fire victim to try and stay in the country.

The 46-year-old applied to stay in the UK and received more than £5,000 in support while his claims were investigated.

He was found to be lying to try and stay in the country and charged with fraud as well as being ordered to pay back £4,044.36.

Rinku, who is of no fixed address, was jailed for 18 months at Isleworth Crown Court on October 9.

Abdelkarim Rekaya

The 28-year-old conned Kensington and Chelsea Council out of more than £80,000 in financial support after claiming he was a Grenfell Tower resident and had been made homeless by the tragic fire on June 17 last year.

He was re-homed at an address in Lots Road, Fulham where he lived rent free and without paying bills until July 1, 2018 when enquiries found his story was false and that he had never lived in Grenfell Tower.

He pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and obtaining leave to remain by deception at Isleworth Crown Court on September 21.

Rekaya, of Lots Road, has been remanded to be sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on November 27.

Jenny McDonagh

Last month the former Kensington and Chelsea Council finance minister admitted to stealing more than £60,000 meant for Grenfell Tower victims.

The 39-year-old took the money meant for survivors using pre-paid credit cards, despite having no personal connection to the tragedy, which she used to fund trips to Dubai and Los Angeles, expensive dinners and online gambling.

She was charged with two counts of fraud by abuse of position, one count of theft by an employee and one count of money laundering.

McDonagh who was described in court as a ‘serial fraudster’ who ‘lived beyond her means’ has been bailed and a sentencing date has yet to be set.

She was jailed for five and a half years on September 28.

Derrick Peters

Homeless Derrick Peters, 58, lied about living in Grenfell Tower to get a shorter sentence for burglary.

He was put behind bars after falsely telling a judge he had lost all his belongings in the blaze.

His lies meant he put up in free four-star hotel accommodation worth £38,784, courtesy of Kensington and Chelsea Council .

Now Peters, who pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud and perverting the course of justice will spend the next six years in jail.

This includes a three year and four month sentence for two counts of fraud by false representation, 20 months for one count of perverting the course of justice and 12 months after being resentenced for previous count of burglary – all to be be served consecutively.

Tommy Brooks and Elaine Douglas

Tommy Brooks, 52, and Elaine Douglas, 51, were described as ‘parasitic’ after they claimed to be victims of the devastating fire in order to freeload a combined £125,000 in financial support.

The duo claimed they had lived on the 19th floor of the building but they had been staying with friends the night of the tragedy.

Douglas had claimed £67,125.35 and Brooks had received £58,396.89 in financial support after the fire as well as free hotel accommodation by the time their fraud was discovered by the authorities.

They were sentenced at the same court on July 13, with Douglas receiving three years imprisonment and Brooks receiving three years and three months.

Mohammed Gammota

Gammota pretended his dad died in the fire to get hundreds of pounds in cash and a free hotel stay, where he racked up a large room service bill.

The 31-year-old was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to two fraud charges in June this year.

He claimed he had been living on the 24th floor of the tower with his dad, who he pretended had died in the devastating fire.

In reality he was living with his mum in Croydon and his dad was living abroad.

To make his fraud more convincing, Gamoota researched a newspaper article about one of the 71 real victims of the fire, and used their name and details – pretending they were his dad – to make his claims for free hotel accommodation and cash sound more convincing.

He also made Internet searches using the words ‘Grenfell Tower Fraud’.

Gamoota was able to receive £500 in cash, although he had applied for £5,000 and he received £910 worth of free hotel accommodation over nine days, and a £354 room service bill.

He was sentenced to three years and two month’s imprisonment at the court.

Antonio Gouveia

Antonio Gouveia fraudulently claimed more than £50,000 after pretending to be a victim of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

The 33-year-old homeless man came forward days after the disaster, claiming to have lived in Flat 42 on the seventh floor of the tower.

Gouveia claimed nine months free accommodation at a Marble Arch hotel, worth £155 a night, as well as £260 in emergency cash, a £249.99 Google Chromebook laptop.

His hotel stay alone was worth a total of £53,456.76.

The cash and hotel accommodation were given to him after he turned up at Westway Centre, a hub for the emergency efforts at the time of the fire.

The ‘disgusting’ fraudster was jailed for three years at Isleworth Crown Court on 6 September.

Joyce Msokeri

Posed as the widow of a fire victim to claim accommodation and goods worth £19,000.

The 47-year- old Londoner filled her free room at Kensington’s Hilton hotel with donated items including handbags and dresses.

When officials began to suspect she was lying, she told them she had just found out her husband had in fact survived and had been living in a cave in Margate, Kent, where he was fed by tourists.

In April, she was jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Yonatan Eyob

The 26-year-old nabbed £87,000 worth of cash and hotel accommodation after claiming he had lodged in a flat where a family of five died.

It is the largest sum scammed by any single Grenfell fraudster.

CCTV footage proved Eyob had never actually been in the block, and when cops raided the Hilton hotel room he had been given, they found a stash of MDMA and cocaine.

It lead to him being convicted of drug offences in addition to fraud. He was jailed for a total of six years and eight months on September 7.

Anh Nhu Nguyen

The 53-year-old was the first fraudster caught for falsely claiming he had lived in the tower.

He said he had lost his wife and son in the blaze – giving an elaborate account of his dramatic escape to Sky News.

The con artist, of Beckenham, South East London, was even comforted by Prince Charles at a meeting with victims.

He collected nearly £12,500 from charitable and council funds before being rumbled after giving multiple different flat numbers as his address.

Nguyen was jailed for 21 months after admitting fraud in February 2018.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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