A MINICAB driver living in a luxurious mansion worth more than £1m while his benefit cheat wife drove a Merc and wore a Rolex has been ordered to pay back £1.2m.
Ovo Mayomi, 44, claimed he was earning £700 a month and living in Croydon, south London.
His wife Juliet Ubiribo, 32, told benefit bosses she was a single mum so she could claim housing and council tax benefit.
She also asked the council to rehouse her because she was a victim of domestic violence – but the phone number she gave revealed her landlord, Ayiomike Neburagho, was really her husband Mayomi using a false identity.
Fraud investigators discovered he owned a large luxurious house in Nigeria worth more than £1m and boasting chandeliers and £89,000 worth of sound equipment.
He also wore a £25,000 watch and his wife drove a Mercedes Sport Coupe.
A judge has now ordered Mayomi to pay £1,197,743 in a confiscation order – or face six years in prison.
The Proceeds Of Crime Act allows the court to seize assets even if it doesn’t have enough evidence of criminal activity to secure a conviction.
As well as two money-transferring businesses and bank accounts, investigators also discovered Mayomi owned a fish farm in the country.
Ovo Mayomi and Juliet Ubiribo Court orders were signed freezing their assets in the UK and abroad in 2010, and an investigation was launched to find out how much the Nigerian-born ncouple had gained from their criminal lifestyle.
Judge Nicholas Ainley made the confiscation order at Croydon Crown Court after Mayomi disputed the investigators’ findings.He must cough up by March 14 next year.
In July Ubiribo was ordered to pay back £9,357 or face five months in prison.
Ubiribo was charged with 10 theft offences, four fraud act offences and two immigration offences.
Mayomi was charged with nine counts of theft, one count of fraud, four nimmigration offences, and one count of perjury for entering into a false nmarriage using a false identity.
They pleaded guilty to all charges and Mayomi was jailed for 30 months, while Ubiribo was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years.
This prosecution was the result of a joint investigation by Croydon Council’s corporate anti-fraud team and the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA).
Councillor Dudley Mead, deputy leader of the council, said: “This is a landmark case for Croydon as it is the first time the council’s in-house financial investigator has pursued a major confiscation order of this nature.
“As a result of our investigator’s fine work, the council expects to be able to claw back as much as £400,000 in taxpayers’ money.
“This case should serve as a clear warning that crime does not pay.”
The case comes after a nursing assistant who pocketed more than £400,000 in benefits and illegal earnings after her application for asylum was turned down THREE times was jailed yesterday.
Fanta Sesay, 41, raked in housing and council tax benefits while working at Homerton University Hospital in east London and St Thomas’ Hospital in south London.
Inner London Crown Court heard Sesay originally came to the country from Sierra Leone as an asylum seeker.
After her third asylum application was rejected she married a British citizen in 2005 and was granted indefinite leave to remain.
Sesay, who claimed she spent most of the cash on providing for her two children in Sierra Leone, was jailed for 28 months.