Jetset couple from Silvertown jailed after £700,000 tax credit scam

12:00 09 April 2012

A jetset couple who swindled at least £700,000 in benefits to build a “property empire at the taxpayer’s expense” are behind bars.

Afonso Daniel, 44, and his common-law wife Ana Ferreira, 31, used a wealth of fake documents to make bogus tax credit claims in 30 different identities.

Daniel enjoyed trips around the globe on the profits from the six-year “sophisticated attack” on a system designed to support working families on low wages.

The pair, who have four young children and joint Angolan nationality, used the money to make investments in five properties in Britain and Portugal.

A sixth address, a Newham Council-owned terraced house in Newlands Street, Silvertown, was used to register some of the benefits. They had previously lived in Stubbs Point, Plaistow, before setting up home in Frome, East Tilbury, Essex.

Daniel was jailed for four years and three months on Wednesday while Ferreira for two years and five months.

Gideon Cammerman, prosecuting, said DWP investigators swooped on April 7, last year, following a surveillance operation.

The couple got friends and family to obtain National Insurance numbers for making the claims.

They then set up front companies to pose as employers of the applicants, and bogus bank accounts for the benefits to be paid into.

Daniel also falsely reported a succession of his own passports stolen to feed them into the con.

Daniel travelled extensively, at least 18 trips to Portugal between 2005 and 2009, and to Madrid, Turkey, Dubai and the Caribbean.

The authorities have frozen UK assets, including bank accounts and properties.

Prosecutors have started confiscation proceedings to try and claw back some of the money.

Daniel and Ferreira admitted conspiracy to defraud the Revenue and conspiracy to possess false identity documents.

Mike Boardman, defending Daniel, said the cheat “is doing whatever he can to put matters right and to get back to his children.”

Adam Wiseman, defending Ferreira, said her part in the scam had been “parasitic”.

Judge Nigel Gerald said: “This was a prolonged, sustained, systematic, carefully planned, exacted and sophisticated attack on the tax credit system.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Monday, April 27, 2015
Salah Mohammed was illegally touting for business near this carwash on Great Eastern Street when he picked up the victim [Image from Google StreetView]

A minicab driver has been jailed after picking up a woman in Shoreditch and taking to his friend’s house in Walthamstow, where she was raped.

Monday, April 27, 2015
Police want to know who these two men are [Photographs from Metropolitan Police]

Police are looking for two witnesses to a vicious assault that took place in Camden Lock and left the victim needing hospital treatment.

Monday, April 27, 2015

A 34-year-old has been charged with murder after a man was stabbed to death in Leyton over the weekend.

Friday, April 24, 2015
Police want to talk to this woman about the incident

Police have released an image of a woman they want to speak to after a Muslim woman wearing a head scarf was racially abused on a Piccadilly line train.

Friday, April 24, 2015
Peter Mussett sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl on the DLR

A 32-year-old man carried out an ‘incredibly frightening’ sexual assault on a 12-year-old girl travelling alone on the DLR.

Friday, April 24, 2015
Police have released a CCTV image of a cyclist believed to have knocked a woman to the ground.

CCTV images of a cyclist accused of forcefully knocking a woman over in Bermondsey before speeding off have been released by police.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Two phones. Same phone case. Genius.

To celebrate the launch of the first luxury dual phone case, PearPeel, we are giving away two of the black leather Rocha cases, perfect for holding two iPhone 6 handsets.

Read more
We have censored part of this image

Keith Fraser, the UKIP prospective parliamentary candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington has apologised after retweeting an Islamophobic cartoon which looks similar to Charlie Hebdo’s depictions of the Prophet yesterday morning.