Gypsies who took £800k in benefits must repay £17.65
FRAUDSTERS from Notts who pocketed more than £800,000 in benefits have been ordered to pay back just £17.65.
Dorina Dumitru, 39, of Myrtle Street, Retford, and Ramona Dumitru, 34, of Alma Street, Hyson Green, were part of a Roma gypsy gang that cheated taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The gang used forged Home Office documents and job references to illegally obtain National Insurance numbers, which they used to claim a range of state handouts.
They claimed benefits under two different aliases at the same time, and boosted the payouts they received by inventing children, producing what they said were photographs of the non-existent youngsters.
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Some of the claimants did not live in the UK at all while making benefit claims. One woman made regular flights into the country from Romania to collect her payments.
At Southwark Crown Court yesterday, Dorina Dumitru was told she would have to repay only £1 despite having pocketed £101,333.27 after the court heard she had no realisable assets. Ramona Dumitru, 34, who claimed to have six children, aged two to 13, was ordered to pay back just £16.65 of the £81,106.33 she netted.
The two women were jailed in May 2011 - for 20 months and two years – alongside seven other gang members for a total of more than 13 years.
Judge Michael Gledhill made the confiscation orders against the pair yesterday without comment.
When he jailed the family, Judge Gregory Stone said: "This fraud was a large-scale fraud which deliberately targeted the UK benefit system."
The judge said most of the defendants were related, and they were connected to the town of Tandarei in Romania, adding that large sums of money had been traced through bank accounts in that country.
Ringleader Telus Dumitru, 37, who is married to Ramona Dumitru, admitted conspiracy to defraud and received a sentence of four years and eight months in prison.
Ramona Dumitru, Dorina Dumitru, and Ion Lincan, 35 of Finnemore Road, Birmingham; Marian Gheorghe, of Willow Crescent, Birmingham; Claudia Radu, 36, Adrian Radu, 34, and Ion Stoica, 57, who all gave addresses in Romania, admitted various counts of theft, fraud and money-laundering.
Construction boss Abdel Lemsatef, 67, was jailed for nine months after he admitted supplying Dumitru with the forged job references the gang needed to get their hands on national insurance numbers.
The charges dated from between March 2003 and December 2009.
A further confiscation hearing for Telus Dumitru, Marian Gheorghe, Claudia Radu and Ion Sotica will begin on April 26, and is expected to last for two days.