Ex-Luton Borough Council employee ordered to pay back nearly £97k after stealing public funds

A former employee of Luton Borough Council has this week been ordered to pay back £96,929 following a fraud conviction.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 4:15 pm

Oladipo Olayinka Jawando, also known as "Yinka", of Kingsbury Avenue, Dunstable, was handed a two year custodial sentence in April 2019 after the fraud came to light.

This week, Jawando appeared at Luton Crown Court on Monday, 1 March, for a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Jawando had previously pleaded guilty to fraud when he was jailed on April 30, 2019.

Luton Crown Court

The theft was identified by an alert from a fraud detection system. An internal council investigation found Jawando had manipulated accounts he was in charge of and had diverted funds from the council to his personal accounts.

The findings were reported to Bedfordshire Police, who led the prosecution.

An investigation to recover the stolen money was launched by the police's financial investigation team and its findings showed Jawando had benefited by £115,550 from the fraud.

Jawando was found to hold assets valued at £96,929.85 and was given 3 months to pay the full amount or face another 18 months imprisonment. The powers available to the police under the Proceeds of Crime Act allow them to recover the remaining money should Jawando in future be found to have excess funds or assets.

Angela Claridge, monitoring officer at Luton Borough Council, said the authority was "pleased" with the outcome at court.

Ms Claridge said: "No one is above the law and any attempt to gain fraudulent advantage by exploiting their position at any public body is a serious betrayal of public trust.

"Our robust anti-fraud measures have shown that we will not hesitate to expose and bring to justice any attempt to steal from the public purse.”

Fraud can reported to Luton Borough Council in confidence here.

Or to the Shared Anti-Fraud Service at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/spotfraud or by email to [email protected]