Wanstead ticket clerk jailed over £100k scam
- Credit: Archant
A Wanstead man who conspired with five colleagues to illegally create Oyster card credit as part of £100,000 ticketing scam has been jailed for 18 months.
Linus Okrah, 45, of Chester Road, was part of a gang of South West Trains staff who fiddled the till system to sell unsuspecting customers fake travel cards and Oyster credit.
The staff took advantage of legitimate transactions to create fake credit, which they would then either use themselves or sell to other customers.
If they sold it on, they could pocket the cash because the credit never officially existed.
Prosecutors described the fraud as a “sell one, get one free” scam.
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It is estimated to be worth in excess of £100,000.
British Transport Police uncovered the problem, which centred on Richmond station, after operator South West Trains drew their attention to an anomaly in their accounts.
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Following the sentencing, Det Con Becci Crampton said: “Between them, these people had more than 50 years service with South West Trains, yet they chose to throw that away for the sake of greed.
“Throughout their trial, they denied any responsibility for the fraud, claiming the irregularities had been caused by technical faults with ticket machines.
“Thanks to the hard work of BTP officers, South West Trains and TfL, we were able to prove this was a lie.”
Tim Shoveller, chief executive of the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, said: “I am very pleased that the work of the BTP and our own teams has led to such a successful result.
“This sends a clear sign that there is a severe price to pay for people who behave dishonestly and fraudulently.”
Five staff were sentenced with Okrah at Kingston Crown Court on September 4. Julia Cann, 33, of Trimmer Walk, Brentford, who was sentenced to nine months.
Alicia Dunn, 34, of Trinity Road, Luton, was sentenced to nine months. David Rudland, 67, of Digdens Rise, Epsom, was sentenced to 13 months.
Grace Oyegoke, 33, of Ingress Gardens, Greenhithe, was sentenced to nine months, suspended for two years, ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work within 12 months, and has to wear an electronic tag for three months.
Olufisayo Dada 35, of Loughborough Estate, Brixton, was sentenced to 18 months for conspiracy to commit fraud, and a further six months, to run consecutively, after pleading guilty to possessing false identity documents with intent.