A4E welfare to work: Four more charged over fraud

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Four more people have been charged over allegations of fraud at welfare-to-work company Action 4 Employment (A4E).

Nine people were charged in September, including a woman who now faces a further charge.

The company was contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to deliver the "Inspire to Aspire" employment and training scheme.

A total of eight women and five men are accused of numerous offences, including conspiracy to defraud and forgery.

In a statement on its website, A4E chief executive Andrew Dutton said the company had "fully cooperated with police".

Thames Valley Police began an investigation into the company's Slough branch in May 2011 after the matter was referred to them by the DWP.

'Forged documents'

The new charges relate to allegations against A4E contract manager Ines Cano-Uribe, quality co-ordinator Sarah Hawkins, operations manager Serge Wyett, team leader Matthew Hannigan Train and recruiter Hayley Wilson.

They are accused of having "conspired to forge documentation in relation to services provided by A4e, with the intention of convincing Department for Work and Pensions auditors that the documentation and claims for payment were genuine", the Crown Prosecution Service said.

They are each charged with one count of conspiracy to make false instruments contrary to section 1(1A) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and are due appear before Slough Magistrates' Court on 6 January 2014.

Ms Hawkins is aged 31 and of Waterers Way, Bagshot, Surrey; Mr Wyett, 39, lives in Queens Road, Richmond, Surrey; 29 year-old Mr Hannigan Train is of Westacre Close, Bristol, and Ms Wilson is aged 25 and from Tunmill Avenue, Springfield in Milton Keynes.

Ms Cano-Uribe, 37, of Madrid, Spain, is among the nine people charged in September.

They face a total of 60 charges including conspiracy to defraud, multiple counts of forgery and making and possessing articles for use in fraud.

A4E is based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

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