Zimbos in fraud cases on the increase


AFTER my article on Zimbabwean parents abusing their children for benefits, I was overwhelmed by calls and e-mails asking that I write about adults who are abusing the benefit system in the UK.
There are some Zimbos who are giving the country a bad name in the UK because of their love for ill-gotten wealth.
In the past, we used to hear of ‘benefit(s) fraud’ being committed by other nationalities, but now Zimbabweans are in the mix of committing this crime.
Zimbos try to justify this crime but at the end of the day, there are no good grounds for committing any form of illicit activity.
A Zimbabwean, Shingirai Zvokunzwa, made news when British fraud investigators followed a trail, through social networking sites and immigration records to unmask the double life of a Zimbabwean benefits cheat. Justice caught up with Zvokunzwa when a judge jailed him for 10 months for defrauding Reading Borough Council of £28 000 (US$37 000).
Shingirai Zvokunzwa was also known as Tevin Mukonda.
The court heard that Zvokunzwa, from Wroxeter Court, Newstead Rise, Whitley, started claiming housing and council tax benefit in August 2006 when he told the council he was living alone and got a job seekers’ allowance.
But three years later, council investigators, following a tip-off, discovered the house where he was supposed to be living in in east Reading was empty and neighbours said the occupant had moved to Canada.
A full identity fraud investigation was launched jointly by the council and the Department of Works and Pensions after it was discovered Zvokunzwa had told his landlord his name was Tevin Mukonda.
It was then established that Zvokunzwa changed his name to Mukonda after arriving in Britain.
In the name of Mukonda he had pocketed three years of government education grant on top of the state and housing benefits he had been claiming.
He also got a student loan after enrolling at Reading University. But single students with no disabilities and receiving full-time education are not eligible, in the majority of cases, for housing benefit.
Further information about Zvokunzwa was gathered from social networking sites, including facebook, and it transpired that far from moving to Canada, he was living in Milton Keynes – where as Mukonda he had made another benefit claim.
Zvokunzwa admitted to six offences of fraud when he appeared at Aylesbury Crown Court.
In addition to a jail sentence, he was ordered to repay the money he fiddled from Reading Borough Council.
Zvokunzwa is not alone in the commission of this crime.
Jean Tugwete, a 42-year-old Zimbabwean, lied her way into a personal assistant job at a marketing agency and used her employment card to make
£264 274 (US$350 791) of fraudulent purchases over a three-year period.
Tugwete then repeatedly altered the American Express statements between April 2012 to February 2015 to cover her tracks.
She was jailed for three-and-a-half years on two counts of fraud and two of false accounting.
Charity Moyo (38) stole dresses, tops and shoes from Topshop and Debenhams, so she could return them for a refund at other stores in the North West.
She was charged with conspiracy to commit £170 000 (US$225 000) fraud.
She was convicted and sentenced to eight months jail term suspended for 12 months and ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work with six months’ supervision.
Evelyn Gore-Strachan, a UK-based Zimbabwean woman, was jailed for 12 years in Reading after being convicted of nine counts of accounting fraud.
Evelyn, who was earning a  six-figure salary of more than £100 000
(US$132 000) per year, engaged in fraudulent accounting offences in the past five years while working for Webtech Wireless and Britannia Pharmaceuticals in Reading Town, UK.
Gore forged fictitious Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tax penalty invoices and paid huge sums of money into her own bank accounts.
At one point, she also paid huge sums of money — close to £300 000
(US$398 000) — into Japanese companies registered in her name.
Ipaishe Charuma, who used false documents to gain a National Health Service (NHS) bursary, training and work, was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for six fraud-related offences at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
The total loss to the NHS was
£72 782,69 (US$96 666).
The conviction follows an investigation by the NHS Counter Fraud Service.
Patrick Malati, who lives in Leeds, claimed over £150 000 (US$199 000) from the Disability allowance claiming that he was blind. When he was arrested on a drunken driving offence, it turned out he was a blind Zimbabwean on benefits.
There are now many Zimbabweans in prison for benefit fraud.


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