Bulgarians Sentenced Up to 8 Years for Massive UK Welfare Fraud

Crime | May 30, 2024, Thursday // 17:27
Bulgaria: Bulgarians Sentenced Up to 8 Years for Massive UK Welfare Fraud

The court in London's Wood Green district has handed down prison sentences ranging from 3 to 8 years for four Bulgarians involved in one of the largest welfare benefit frauds and money laundering schemes in the United Kingdom.

Gyunesh Ali and Galina Nikolova, considered the leaders of the criminal group, received the heaviest sentences. Nikolova was sentenced to 8 years in prison, with the possibility of requesting early release after serving four years. Ali received a 7-year and 3-month sentence, which he must serve in full due to a previous escape to Bulgaria, from where he was extradited back to the UK.

Stoyan Stoyanov was given a 4-year sentence, with eligibility for early release after serving half of his term. The youngest gang member, Patritsia Paneva, received the lightest sentence of 3 years and 2 months, as the judges acknowledged mitigating circumstances in her case.

Tsvetka Todorova was sentenced to 3 years in prison. However, due to having already spent over 18 months in custody, the judges decided to release her immediately.

The defendants have 28 days to appeal the verdicts.

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Tags: Bulgarians, court, prison, UK

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