By Max Clarke

Olaide Taiwo, 35, was jailed today for his part in stealing the identities of at least 350 people and using the identities to submit over 300 fraudulent tax credit claims. A woman who took part in the fraud was also convicted and will be sentenced in April.

“This is a fraud on a substantial scale. You lied and sought to manipulate with ease and confidence and with an arrogance that was astonishing. You were intimately connected with every aspect of the fraud, stealing real details of real people to commit identity fraud on the large scale.” Said His Honour Judge Simon Davis on sentencing Taiwo.

Richard Young, Senior Investigating Officer for HM Revenue & Customs said:

“This pair blatantly hijacked the identities of over 350 innocent people and stole from British taxpayers by submitting over 300 fraudulent tax credit claims between June 2004 and July 2008. They deliberately attacked and abused a system designed to provide financial help to the most vulnerable people in our society.

"The sentences given will be a warning to anyone considering committing this type of fraud - it will not be tolerated. HMRC will pursue, prosecute and reclaim the financial gain from those found to commit these types of crime.

Taiwo, a security guard from Camberwell, South East London was arrested on 6 August 2010. A search of his home uncovered evidence of the fraud taking place, including details of numerous bank accounts held in the defendants’ names and aliases, plus documentation which held hundreds of innocent people’s identities. HMRC investigators also seized £70,000, which is believed to be proceeds of the crime.