Grenfell fraud: Man jailed for £47k claim
A conman who pocketed £47,000 meant for Grenfell Tower survivors and claimed he was an undercover government researcher has been jailed for five years.
Moses Ettiene, 49, gave a flat number which did not exist to claim support after the devastating fire, then said he could not disclose the real address because of his "top secret" work.
Police arrested him in September last year.
He had denied one count of fraud between July 2017 and June 2018.
Ettiene, of Southall, west London, netted a total of £47,415.75 worth of sustenance and accommodation at the Park Plaza Hotel.
During the trial, he said he refused to give police his flat number because he was "bound by secrecy".
He said he was unsure whether or not his collection of "secret" files was destroyed in the fire in June 2017, which killed 72 people.
"Some of the files I stored were in the flat and because I can't confirm whether they have been destroyed or not, I am not able to disclose the flat, the location of that flat, the people I lived with, or anything about that," Ettiene told jurors.
Ettiene's other claims included that he was afforded diplomatic immunity as a result of him being attached to the US Mission in Geneva.
However, he held no diplomatic status in the UK and two businesses he had previously registered with Companies House were closed due to a lack of trading.
It also emerged that he ran a second-hand clothes stall.
Ettiene was arrested and charged after making the false claims to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.