ANOTHER Grenfell fraudster: Business student, 31, is fifth to falsely pose as a victim as he is jailed for 18 months after claiming his father died in blaze to get £5,000 and free hotel stays
- Muhammad Gamoota said he lived on the 24th floor of tower block with father
- 31-year-old said he survived blaze because he was attending midnight prayers
- He was arrested after police found father Abdul Salam was alive and overseas
- He admitted two counts of fraud and was jailed at Isleworth Crown Court today
A business management student who pretended to be a Grenfell Tower victim’s son to get £5,000 and free hotel stays was jailed for 18 months today.
Mohammad Gamoota, 31, claimed he was living with his father on the 24th floor when the fire ripped through the building and he only escaped because he was praying at his local mosque.
The court heard a booking was made for Gamoota at a Holiday Inn where he racked up a £374 room service bill.
He was also put up at a second hotel and the total fraud amounted to £6,784, Isleworth Crown Court heard.
Gamoota has become the fifth convicted Grenfell fraudster, following Joyce Msokeri, 47, Anh Nhu Nguyen, 53, Elaine Douglas, 51, and Tommy Brooks, 52.
Judge Robin Johnson told him: ‘You claimed your father Abel Salem had died in the fire. That was a name that had been reported in the press.
‘You had no connection with this family. A cash payment was made for £500 and a further payment was made for £5,000.
‘Due to a technical hitch you were only able to obtain £500 of that payment. You were not deterred and continued to call your social worker in pursuance of this claim.
‘This was not a moment of madness. You spent days in accommodation that was set aside for those who were grief stricken, homeless and no doubt in a state of shock.
‘That did not stop you tapping into the funds that had been rightly made available for those people.’
Gamoota first approached staff at the Westway Centre two days after the devastating fire in North Kensington, West London, on June 16.
He was assigned a social worker by Harrow Council, who was tasked with taking care of Gamoota while he was given hotel accommodation.
The social worker spoke with him on June 22 and met with him in the lobby of the Holiday Inn where he told her he lived at flat 219 on the 24th floor.
The court heard that he claimed to have been a resident there for seven years and at the time of the blaze he was at midnight prayers.
Gamoota was given £500 and told he would receive a total of £5,000. But due to issues with his bank account, he only ever received £500.
Gamoota approached the social worker again to say that the payment of £5,000 had not materialised.
The latest fraud conviction comes two days after two illegal immigrants who lied about living in Grenfell to claim more than £120,000 in handouts pleaded guilty to fraud on Wednesday.
Jamaican nationals Elaine Douglas, 51, and Tommy Brooks, 52, spent eight months living in a four-star hotel at the taxpayers’ expense at a cost of £400-a-night.
They also spent more than £20,000 on meals and clothing on pre-paid credit cards which were given to them by the local council. They are yet to be sentenced.
In April, Joyce Msokeri, 47, was jailed for four-and-a-half years at the Old Bailey for fraud after posing as a Grenfell survivor in a £19,000 scam.
She claimed around £19,000 in cash donations, electronics, handbags, dresses and hotel costs – and filled a room at Hilton hotel with donations from charities.
Two months prior, in February, serial conman Anh Nhu Nguyen, 53, was jailed for 21 months after pretending his family died in the Grenfell fire.
He claimed his wife and son were killed in the atrocity to obtain about £12,500 from funds intended for victims – and even met Prince Charles as he posed as a survivor.
Anh Nhu Nguyen meets Prince Charles
Facing jail: Illegal immigrant couple falsely posed as Grenfell victims then spent £120,000 living at a luxury hotel for eight months despite moaning about quality of the menu
- Tommy Brooks, 51, and Elaine Douglas, 51, grabbed £120,000 of taxpayers’ cash
- Couple came to the UK from Jamaica in 2002 and then vanished into Britain
- After Grenfell fire they turned up at reception centre claiming to be residents
- But door number on flat didn’t match the floor they claimed to live on in tower
- By then they had 243 nights in Kensington hotel where they had £11,000 of food
Two illegal immigrants lived in a luxury hotel for 243 nights costing the taxpayer almost £120,000 after falsely claiming they were victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.
Couple Tommy Brooks, 51, and Elaine Douglas, 51, were unmasked as fraudsters after giving an incorrect flat number in the West London block where 72 people died last June.
But before their arrests they racked up bills for £104,000 for accommodation alone while Douglas ran up a food bill of £11,000 while also complaining about the quality of the menu, Isleworth Crown Court heard.
The couple came to the UK from Jamaica in 2002 and were booked on return flights but did not show up and disappeared into Britain for 15 years until their arrests.
The couple were housed at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, in Kensington, for 243 nights and issued with credit cards and Oyster cards so they could travel around London for free.
But they were caught out when they gave investigators the number of their flat – not realising it was on a different floor.
Benjamin Holt, prosecuting, told Isleworth Crown Court: ‘These two defendants falsely claimed to be residents at Grenfell Tower at the time of the fire.
‘Both made representations they were living in flats.
‘Ms Douglas spent 276 nights at Madison Blue Edwardian Hotel costing £55,000.
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