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Hairdresser jailed for using dead babies' names to claim 100,000 in benefits illegallyElizabeth Tetteh, 45, convicted of 17 fraud offences at Basildon Crown CourtShe was jailed for two years after misusing National Insurance numbersClaimed income support and job seekers' allowance despite working
14:06 GMT, 10 March 2013
14:42 GMT, 10 March 2013
A benefit cheat who used dead babies' names to defraud taxpayers out of almost 100,000 has been jailed for two years.
Elizabeth Tetteh, 45, used the National Insurance numbers of dead children to claim income support and job seekers' allowance, despite working as a hairdresser.
Tetteh, who was convicted of 17 fraud offences at Basildon Crown Court in Essex, was running her own hair salon while claiming the benefits.
Guilty: Elizabeth Tetteh, 45, used the National Insurance numbers of dead children to claim income support and job seekers' allowance, despite working as a hairdresser. She was charged with 17 fraud offences at Basildon Crown Court in Essex
The fraudster, who now lives in Walthamstow, East London, was also claiming housing and council tax benefit from Thurrock Council.
The fraudulent activity, spanning a ten-year period, came to light when suspicious council staff decided to investigate her claims.
The court heard that Tetteh had been overpaid by at least 90,549 over the ten years.
But council bosses said she could have claimed even more but records from before 2002 no longer exist.
Tetteh, who used different aliases,
was found to have lied about her housing situation –
claiming to be a tenant when she is believed to have owned the property.
She used false documents, fake identities and lied about her income and savings.
When police finally caught her they found she was using at least four different names and a number
of different addresses to make her claims.
A council spokesman said today: 'This figure is limited because records before 2002 no longer exist, but the court was told the fraud was even greater.'