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Former Homerton Hospital nursing assistant and failed asylum seeker jailed for £400,000 fraud

PUBLISHED: 15:06 18 September 2012 | UPDATED: 15:18 18 September 2012

A Homerton Hospital nursing assistant pocketed more than £400,000 in benefits and illegal earnings after her application for asylum was turned down three times, a court heard today (Tuesday September 18).

Fanta Sesay, 41, raked in housing and council tax benefits while working at the hospital in Homerton Row as well as St Thomas’ Hospital in south London.

The mother of two was paid £450 a week in benefits from 2005 until April 2012, to net nearly £180,000.

She also used false names and national insurance numbers to obtain work and earn more than £230,000 fraudulently since 2003.

Inner London Crown Court heard Sesay originally came to the country from Sierra Leone as an asylum seeker, but after her third asylum application was rejected she married a British citizen in 2005.

She was then granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Sesay, of Jenkins Road, Plaistow, admitted two counts of dishonestly making false representations to obtain benefits in respect of council tax and housing benefit, and being knowingly concerned with fraudulent activity, obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception and fraud by false representation.

She claimed she spent most of the cash providing for her children in Sierra Leone.

She denied stealing medicine from Homerton but the charge was ordered to lie on the court file.

Judge Roger Chapple, who jailed her for 28 months, said: “Many members of the public would be concerned that a person who was caring for them had got the job under a false identity with no checks carried out.

“That would cause alarm to many people.”

Sonal Dashani, prosecuting, conceded it would be a ‘fruitless and expensive exercise’ to attempt to retrieve the money.

Officials are investigating the legitimacy of her marriage and she could face deportation.

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