Civil servant John Brian Agdomar, 42, from Hackney, East London, and an accomplice, Olanekan Omatayo Ogunmekan, 35, from Bethnal Green, London, have been jailed for four and a half years for conspiracy to commit tax credit fraud and acquiring criminal property under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
The pair fabricated more than 1,400 fictitious children, hijacked hundreds of identities and illegally claimed more than £1.2m in tax credits, before being rumbled by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigators last year.
The pair had developed a scheme which saw Agdomar using his job as a civil servant at the Department for Work and Pensions as a cover to illegally access genuine customer records to obtain personal information. This allowed the pair to hijack existing claims for tax credits, diverting the payments into a complex network of bank accounts.
An HMRC spokesperson said:
"This was a deplorable abuse of a position of trust and the verdict shows that those who believe they can cheat the system should think again.
"This was no victimless crime, but a calculated fraud involving a significant amount of money. HMRC will not hesitate to seek prosecution where we find instances of tax credit fraud."
Agdomar was also charged with abusing his position of trust within the civil service where he had accessed benefit systems to obtain information such as dates of birth and national insurance numbers. He is thought to have illegally accessed more than 2,500 customer accounts.
To obtain more information about tax credits or to report tax credit fraud, call HM Revenue & Customs Tax Credit Helpline at 0845 300 3900.