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

Saturday, February 28, 2015
Alan Cartwright

The teenager stabbed to death while riding his bike in Islington last night has been named as 15-year-old Alan Cartwright.

Saturday, February 28, 2015
A 15-year-old boy was stabbed to death on Caledonian Road Pic: Google

Teen managed to carry on riding before collapsing - murder investigation launched

Friday, February 27, 2015
A teenager was stabbed near the Emirates minutes before Arsenal's Champions League game

Knife attack - just prior to Champions League game - fifth in borough this month

Friday, February 27, 2015
CCTV footage shows when the driver loses control of the black Honda car in Hampton Road

This jaw-dropping footage shows the moment a speeding driver smashes his Honda into five parked cars in a quiet residential street before fleeing.

Friday, February 27, 2015
The theft is all over in the blink of an eye (Picture: City of London Police)

A video of a lightning fast phone robbery by a thief riding a bike along a City street has been released by police who want to raise awareness of this growing crime.

Friday, February 27, 2015
The quiet lane [Photograph by David Peat]

Emergency services have rushed to a street in Walthamstow after a man was stabbed this morning.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

The former Star Trek co-star proposes a Twitter memorial.

Read more

Russell Tovey has admitted he didn’t realise he was being offered the lead in Banished at first.

Read more

Damian Lewis admitted he is enjoying portraying King Henry VIII in BBC Two’s period drama Wolf Hall.

Read more

Promoted content

A look at one of our previous Design Fairs

Chelsea Old Town Hall will be the venue for the renowned Desire Fair from 6-8 March 2015. This stunning mixed media jewellery and silversmithing event where visitors can purchase direct from contemporary designer makers selected from the best in the UK is an event not to be missed.

Take our quiz and find out!

A survey conducted last year revealed that Britain is the fourth sexiest country in the world, with the UK sex toy industry worth an estimated £250 million a year.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

The political editor will be taking time off for treatment.

It involves a picture of a hand. You can guess what shape it is making.

Quirky London