Woodford Green woman in £2.9m fraud will not have to pay a penny back
PUBLISHED: 16:00 18 December 2010
A ROMA rights campaigner jailed for orchestrating a £2.9million benefits fraud will not have to pay back a penny of the stolen cash – because she is broke.
Lavinia Olmazu, 31, of Newlands Road, Woodford Green, helped fellow Romanians make hundreds of illegal claims for State benefits.
Alongside husband Alin Enachi, 29, the mother-of-one provided compatriots with fake documents to obtain National Insurance numbers, allowing them to apply for working tax credits.
She was jailed for two years and three months in November after she admitted conspiracy to supply articles for use in the fraud.
At an earlier hearing, Enachi, of the same address, was jailed for two years and eight months, while a third man, Cristian Dumitru, 29, of Northumberland Park, received a sentence of two years and six months.
All three defendants were back in the dock at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday for a confiscation hearing to decide how much of the missing money can be recovered.
The court heard Olmazu’s personal benefit from the scam was agreed at £70,594 and Enachi’s at £18,655, while Dumitru profited by £103,261.
The bulk of the £2.9m was paid out to various individual claimants from the Roma community, who would pay Enachi small sums in cash for forged documents.
Despite her profits from the fraud, the court heard that Olmazu has no known recoverable assets, either in this country or Romania.
The sole possessions police were able to recover were five laptops belonging to her, which will be confiscated. Enachi will have to pay back just £750 after investigators were unable to trace any other assets.
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