Jailed: Failed asylum seeker who used five IDs to claim £370k in state benefits

Author: TONY PALMER

failed asylum seeker who used five bogus identities to claim £370,000 in state handouts has been jailed for five years.

Said Boudemagh, 41, spent eight years submitting fraudulent benefits claims from his Upper Holloway council flat.

The Algerian hijacked the identity of a mother-of-two living in France for the scam and pretended that one of his aliases had illnesses including a disabled finger in order to deceive the authorities, Blackfriars crown court heard.

Boudemagh used a forged French identity card to enter the UK illegally in March 2000, and later had two bids for asylum rejected. He eventually secured British residency by marrying a UK national, starting to claim benefits as soon as he secured a National Insurance number.

However, by June 2007 Boudemagh, a father-of-one, had begun defrauding the state on a large scale. He used a fake passport to claim more than £175,000 in benefits in the name of Jamel Bensaid, and even asked for £16,798 in carer’s allowance to look after a non-existent friend.

Prosecutor Andrew Evans said the Home Office had “no record or trace” of Mr Bensaid, while Boudemagh’s handwriting was on some of the forms. He was also behind £78,516 in claims in the name of Sidhamad Ayad, pretending he was disabled but using his own picture in the passport submitted to the benefits agency.

Boudemagh posed as a severely ill third man, Taric Ziad, claiming £14,626 in handouts claiming he suffered from depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, varicose veins, lower back pain and even a disabled finger.

He also hijacked the identity of Nadia Regad, claiming £4,235 in carer’s allowance for looking after a man called Allel Zerabib for whom Boudemagh was also claiming nearly £80,000 in benefits.

However, it later emerged that Ms Regad was a married mother living in Paris and was oblivious to the fraud.

When Boudemagh’s flat was raided in April 2015, documents were uncovered that revealed an elaborate network of fake identities and bogus claims stretching back to June 2007.

 The fraudster had also been using a disabled Freedom Pass in a false name to travel around London for free.
 At trial, Boudemagh denied any wrongdoing, insisting that he had used his English language skills to complete forms for friends in the Algerian community in north London. A jury found him guilty of 12 counts of fraud and acquitted him of a further five charges. Jailing him for five years, Judge Jane Sullivan said he had shown no remorse.

The court heard that the only repayment of the stolen money will come from deductions to benefits after his release.

Source: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/jfailed-asylum-seeker-who-used-5-ids-to-claim-370k-in-benefits-jailed-a3834086.html