“This gang was extremely well organised and ruthless in their ambition to steal vast amounts of public money at the expense of the British taxpayer,” said Gary Lampon, assistant director of criminal investigation for HMRC.“They exploited the many individuals they lured to the UK from abroad with the promise of legal employment, but then manipulated and discarded them.” Ziga pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation at an earlier court hearing and the rest of the gang were found guilty of the same charge last week after a trial.It was a fraud that took advantage of Britain’s child tax credit and child benefit system – and which is available to European Union as well as British citizens.It is so simple, you might say, that a child could carry it out.Magdalena, 33, disappeared half way through the trial and was found guilty in her absence; a warrant has been issued for her arrest.
Between January 2008 and April 2010, when they were finally caught, they had stolen more than £535,000.
Neighbours said they were not suspicious but simply thought the Ferkovas had a large and loving family who frequently visited.
“There were always lots of people coming and going but I just presumed they had a big family,” one neighbour said.
Most of the migrants did not actually have children. The migrants were then informed by the gang that there was no work available.
They were taken back to the airport, put on a plane and sent home.