Indian woman jailed for financial fraud in LeicesterJuly 15th, 2008 - 2:15 pm ICT by IANS
Leicester, July 15 (IANS) Indian origin woman Daksha Saujani, a tax official here, has been jailed for two years for siphoning off more than 116,000 pounds of the public’s money into her family’s bank accounts. The mother-of-three exploited her position of trust while managing a team at the Inland Revenue’s family tax credit department. The crimes financed “a lifestyle she wasn’t entitled to” and enabled her to send her youngest son to private school.
Leicester Crown Court was told that Saujani, of Harrowgate Drive, Birstall, “hijacked” innocent claimants’ money using her workplace computer and diverted it to her own bank account, her husband’s and that of one of her sons, Leicester Mercury reports.
She also forged new claims in the names of unsuspecting acquaintances and sat back as the money rolled in, even after she stopped working for the tax office. Saujani - who was said to have been “angered” that she had been charged with the offences - pleaded guilty to nine counts of cheating the revenue out of a total of 116,449 pounds between 2003 and 2005.
Adam Budworth, prosecuting, said the dishonesty came to light after an auditor detected that suspicious payments, processed by the defendant, were being channelled into the same bank accounts.
He said: “It wasn’t a fraud to alleviate hardship but to support her lifestyle.”
Saujani was employed by the Inland Revenue in Leicester for three different periods between 2002 and 2005 and became a “trusted manager”, dealing with claims for Family Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits, Judge Hammond said.
He said: “She says the government loses lots of money through poor administration and seemed angered she’d been charged - and that doesn’t smack of remorse to me.”
There is an asset confiscation hearing pending and they face losing the family home.
Defendant Gary Bell said Saujani had no previous convictions and ended up in debt from a failed business venture.