London

Grenfell Tower support fraud: Woman charged

Grenfell Tower block Image copyright Reuters

A woman who falsely claimed her husband died in the Grenfell Tower fire, claiming £10,000 in funds allocated for survivors, has appeared in court.

Joyce Msokeri, 46, of Ambleside Gardens, Sutton, south London, is charged with seven counts of fraud.

It is alleged she also falsely claimed to have a child in intensive care following the blaze.

Westminster Magistrates' Court heard Ms Msokeri made substantial claims on the basis she was a survivor of the fire.

The charges allege she made false representations to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for money and accommodation at the Hilton hotel and to charities in order to obtain clothing and food.

'Substantial amount'

She is also alleged to have made false representations to HMRC and a GP surgery in Kensington and Chelsea.

Sending the case to crown court, District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe said: "It is a substantial amount of money.

"It is in circumstances where it is akin to a fraud on a vulnerable person who has been injured.

"It is similar to that in that of course there is a finite pot and the more that is taken out illegally, the less there is for those that deserve it."

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea said it could not talk about individual cases, especially those under investigation, but whenever it suspected fraud it involved the police.

"If fraud on any level has been committed this would be appalling as it could directly, and negatively, impact [on] the council's efforts to give crucial help and support to the victims and survivors of the fire," a spokesman said.

Ms Msokeri, who was arrested on 26 July, is due to next appear in custody at Southwark Crown Court on 3 October.

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