Newham Council manager jailed for fraud

By Rob Virtue on June 3, 2011 4:26 PM |

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A council manager accused of abusing his position to defraud colleagues and the public has been sent to prison.

Emile Obidike, 35, of Heathhurst Road in Croydon, was given an eight-month sentence at Inner London Crown Court.

As well as deception, he was also charged with owning a fake passport and lying about his qualifications when applying for his Newham Council job.

Police found a stash of high priced goods, including an iPod Touch, a Gucci watch and a Calvin Klein ring, totalling nearly £3,000, paid for with the proceeds of his crimes.

Judge Lindsay Burn said: "They show you were motivated by financial gain and I have to conclude you used your position to further this."

Obidike was given eight months for faking his qualifications, three months each for two charges of deceiving colleagues, and four months for possession of forged documents, all of which were to run concurrently.

A further three charges of deception on members of the public were ordered to lie on file.

Obidike was employed at Newham Council in 2004 as a children's information services manager.

He was said to have earned about £250,000 during his time in this role.

He was suspended by the council last year following an accusation that he had taken £400 each from two other employees by telling them he could get them on management courses at a discounted rate.

They paid Obidike in cash but he kept the money.
In an earlier hearing in February he pleaded guilty to the charges.

Following the case, a Newham Council spokesman said: "This person abused his position of trust to extort staff and members of the public.

"His behaviour was abhorrent and the custodial sentence handed down will act as a deterrent to others who think they can get away with playing fast and loose with residents' money."

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