Benefits cheat swindled £200,000 and built £1million property portfolio

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A woman has been jailed for seven years after she swindled the taxpayer out of £200,000 and acquired a £1 million property portfolio without ‘ever working a single day’.

Angel Jackson was described as being a ‘vain and self-important person’ and a ‘professional fraudster’.

Croydon Crown Court heard that she claimed housing benefit, income support and compensation between 2002 and 2012.
She used fake names and addresses to claim money and for accidents that didn’t actually happen.

Things got so complicated that prosecutors admitted they didn’t even know her real name or date of birth.

She has been jailed after being found guilty of 32 charges relating to her ten-year fraud campaign.

Prosecutors don’t even know if Angel Jackson is her real name.

Judge Adam Hiddleston said the evidence against her was ‘totally overwhelming’.

He said: ‘You created numerous personalities, changed your name, created false documentation, you even deceived your own ex-husband, taking everything he had, including his dignity.’

Jackson, who already owned a house in Mitcham, south London, bought two flats in the same block, complete with its own gym, in Croydon in 2005 for more than £300,000, and fraudulently claimed housing benefit for each of them.

She also tried to claim compensation from two car accidents using invented passengers, only to be caught when doctors spotted two separate x-rays on two separate claims were almost identical.

Prosecutor Francesca Levett told Croydon Crown Court Jackson had lied to the local authorities and the DWP for more than a decade and defrauded the authorities out of £191,414.

She said: ‘Far from being an honest claimant, who turned to the authorities because she was genuinely in need, she manipulated the system, told countless lies, hijacked identities and defrauded her way into becoming an affluent property owner without ever working a single day.’

Although the authorities believe she is Ghanaian, Ms Levett told the jury: ‘We do not actually know the true identity of the defendant, nor do we know her true date of birth.’

When her home was raided in September 2012, officers found £22,000 in £50 notes hidden in a wardrobe, reams of counterfeit paperwork and 12 mobile phones.

Jackson lured her then Fiance Thomas Duffy, by telling him she was a ‘lady of traditional values’, before buying a house with him in August 2002 – while still claiming housing benefit – and going behind his back to obtain his UK residency to support her own.

The pair had married on Valentines Day 2002, but she stopped him from telling his family and yet she didn’t even allow him to live with her.

Ms Levett said: ‘This was very far from a happy, new marriage, as not only did Mr Duffy not live with his wife, but the marriage wasn’t ever consummated.’

The court heard that ‘whenever he needed to sign something presented to him by his wife, his glasses would disappear’.

Ms Levett said: ‘It appears that Mr Duffy was used by his wife to purchase a property she had no intention of sharing with him.’

In July 2005, Jackson bought another property, a £150,000 flat in south London, in her husband’s name, without him knowing – and two months later bought another flat in the same building, this time in her own name, for £152,500.

Ms Levett said: ‘Not only did she fail to notify the authorities that she had purchased yet another property, but she then applied for housing benefit, claiming that she lived there and did not own her own property.’

She lied to her husband that home they owned together was being repossessed and that he had to move out – all to support a claim she had made on a housing benefit form.

Ms Levett said: ‘Mr Duffy describes himself as so confused and afraid. He had lost everything, yet still the defendant collected his wages every week.

‘He was depressed and fragile, frightened to open his door.’

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