CHIANGRAI TIMES – A benefits cheat, Stephen Kellaway, who faked his own death to avoid prosecution after stealing thousands to pay for his wife’s breast enlargement has been jailed. The 54 year-old had illegally claimed more than £43,000 in housing benefits despite a vast property portfolio worth more than £1 million.
The psychologist, who also earned £100,000 a year from his counselling service, used the money to fund a breast enlargement for his third wife Nelli, 43.
The pair, who owned five properties throughout London, fraudulently claimed benefits while also sending their children to private school.
But when the father-of-two feared the authorities had uncovered the fraud he faked his own death during a family trip to Moscow to avoid jail and fled to Thailand.
Mrs Kellaway, who met her husband in 1997, claimed he died on a family trip to her native Russia where she underwent the cosmetic surgery.
She returned to Britain with a fake death certificate and an urn that was claimed to have contained his ashes.
The pair had planned to collect a £1.7 million life insurance payout but was forced to abandon their plan after benefit fraud officers from Hammersmith and Fulham council launched an investigation.
He was eventually tracked down to Bangkok airport, where he was living rough and living in fear of being deported after losing his job teaching English to schoolchildren.
He had used a false Irish passport of a deceased seven-year-old boy and was extradited back to London in December.
On Thursday Kellaway, formerly of Shepherds Bush, west London was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court to 32 months jail.
He had pleaded guilty to three charges of benefit fraud and one of identity fraud at an earlier hearing. The total fraud amounted to more than £43,000 in what Judge Shani Barnes described as “cynical and selfish” scam.
“People such as yourself who criminally steal from (others) undermine that system and demolish its credibility,” she added.
Upon her return to Britain, Mrs Kellaway was arrested and in 2010 convicted of three counts of fraud and two counts of money laundering.
She was handed a 24 week sentence suspended for 18-months after she told a judge her “abusive” husband had coerced her.
A spokesman for the council said last night: “You can run but you cannot hide. No matter what you do, if you decide to commit benefit fraud you will eventually get busted.
“This rogue went to extraordinary lengths to avoid detection and now he is exactly where he deserves to be – prison.
“This case shows that wherever you run to you will eventually be tracked down and made to pay for your crimes.”
Mrs Kellaway, who did attend court on Thursday, has been forced to pay back £55,000 through the Proceeds of Crime Act. – Mailonline
First Article – 53-year-old British Father Faked his Own Death