East Ham mum jailed over £500,000 false identity fraud

Antoinette, left, and Louise Kaidi have been jailed for 33 months each (picture: PA/NHS Protect)

Antoinette, left, and Louise Kaidi have been jailed for 33 months each (picture: PA/NHS Protect) - Credit: PA

Two women who defrauded the taxpayer of more than £500,000 after buying false identities have been jailed.

The pair, known under the assumed names of Antoinette and Louise Kaidi, posed as sisters and claimed to be from Togo.

Croydon Crown Court heard on Wednesday that Antoinette, of Oxford Road, Enfield, qualified as a nurse after using her identity to fund her training, while Louise, of Springfield Road, East Ham, enrolled in a nursing course at London South Bank University.

They were arrested last year and convicted of a total of 23 counts, dated between 2003 and 2015, including fraud, conspiracy to assist in unlawful immigration and dishonesty in making a false statement or representation with a view to obtaining benefit.

Both women pleaded guilty six days into their trial, having initially denied the charges.

The Kaidis were convicted of taking thousands of pounds from the NHS in training and bursary costs, as well as from the Department of Work and Pensions in false tax credit and income support payments after assuming so-called “ghost identities”.

Louise claimed in the region of £270,000 while Antoinette obtained £290,000, which included her earnings while working as a nurse.

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Sentencing them each to 33 months in prison, His Honour Judge John Tanzer told them their crimes were of a serious nature.

He said: “These are not victimless offences. They are offences the community feels very strongly about.”

He said the convictions were part of a wider probe into other people, adding: “I was told all of this is part of a very large investigation involving some £4 million.”

Prosecutor Caoimhe Daly admitted the true identities of the women are still unknown, but it is believed Antoinette is of mixed Nigerian-Ghanaian heritage, while Louise is Ugandan.

Both Antoinette, a mother-of-two, and Louise, a single mother-of-three, cried as they sat in the dock.