Three Nigerians who were convicted of illegally masterminding a plot to defraud the British Inland Revenue Department of thousands of pounds have been recommended for deportation from Britain on the completion of their jail terms.
Olamide Coker, 33, and Olaniyi Akinyemi, 32, were each sentenced to three years in jail while Rufina Ulom, 30, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years.
They were jailed on Friday for a tax fraud plot which could have illegally netted them atarget of £50m from the British Inland Revenue Department.
They were accused of running a scam of identity documents purchase which were sold to them by dodgy HM Revenue and Customs employees, the three Nigerians obtained more than £560,000 in fraudulent tax rebates before they were caught.
All three, who were living in Chapman Court in Dartford, were sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiring to commit fraud.
The judge recommended that they should be deported when released from jail.
The court heard they bought the identity documents for £20 each and used them to fill in self-assessment tax forms online and claim rebates which were sent to Ulom’s bank account.
When HMRC investigators arrested three employees for selling documents they traced the tax claims made using the stolen identities to computers used by Coker, Akinyemi and Ulom.
HMRC officers raided the trio’s home in Dartford and found laptops and documents containing evidence of the fraud.
Sentencing them, Judge Martin Joy said: “This was a sophisticated and well thought out plan to defraud HMRC and was a prolonged and dishonest course of action.
“I am satisfied that your presence here is detrimental to the country and you should each be deported after your sentence.”
After the hearing, the head of HMRC’s Internal Governance Criminal Investigations Joff Parsons described the trio of Coker, Akinyemi and Ulom as “devious fraudsters”.
He said: “They could have deprived UK taxpayers of around £50m were it not for the vigilance of HMRC’s investigators.”
The three HMRC employees who their accomplices in the scam of the identity documents selling it to them have been sentenced to a total of eight years and two months in prison.
Judge Martin Joy said recommended that the trio should be deported back to Nigeria after serviving their sentences. “This was a sophisticated and well thought out plan to defraud HMRC and was a prolonged and dishonest course of action.