The UK Gov has released some info on a fraud trial held late last year, which highlights a risk to those insuring the hospitality sector and the wider issue of automated ID checks/logins for insured workplaces;
On Monday 22 November 2021, Christopher Ogochukwu Ejime of Manchester pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court to two counts of fraud.
The court handed Ejime two concurrent 12-month Community Orders of 60 hours unpaid work and a requirement to pay a victim surcharge of £85. Ejime had pleaded not guilty to the charges at an earlier hearing at Manchester Magistrates’ Court. The case follows the prosecution by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) in January of Ejime’s brother in law, Muyiwa John Adegbola.
Ejime was found to be fraudulently using Adegbola’s licence on 07 June 2019. He was discovered by SIA investigators who were carrying out routine licence checks with Cheshire Constabulary at Wilmslow’s Resolution Bar. Ejime was working for Radius DS Ltd despite being unlicensed. Ejime told the investigators that the licence belonged to his wife’s brother Muyiwa John Adegbola, and that Adegbola had given him the licence to use. He further added that he had worked on four occasions as a door supervisor using the licence.
The SIA’s investigators seized the licence and began a formal investigation into the case.
On 12 June 2019 the SIA suspended Adegbola’s licence. He appealed the decision on 18 June 2019. He told the SIA that he had misplaced his wallet containing his licence. He added that he had reported the loss to the police. He also said that he had been on sick leave at the time of the offence.
On 01 October 2019 Muyiwa John Adegbola was formally interviewed under caution by SIA investigators. During the interview he denied knowing Christopher Ejime. Ejime did not co-operate with the SIA during its investigation and failed to attend an interview.
Mark Chapman, SIA Criminal Investigations Manager, said:
The outcome of this investigation clearly demonstrates the likely consequences for those who abuse the licence system. Mr Adegbola supplied his licence to an individual who was unlicensed, untrained and demonstrably unfit, as a result of which he received a suspended prison sentence, and his licence was revoked. Mr Ejime, having tried to evade being held to account for his actions, was on Monday finally sentenced for his part. He now also has a criminal conviction and will be unable to work in the security sector.
The SIA’s regional teams carry out inspections to ensure areas do not become an easy target for fraudsters. Customers in the Manchester night-time economy need the assurance that they will be safe when they go out to enjoy themselves. These two men sought to undermine that confidence.