Second-hand clothes seller jailed for Grenfell fraud

29 Mar 19

A man has been jailed for fraudulently claiming more than £47,000 of support intended for victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Moses Ettienne, 49, was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court yesterday to five years in prison after denying one count of fraud between July 2017 and June 2018.

Ettienne claimed he had been residing in the tower at the time of the fire and subsequently claimed £47,415 worth of hotel accommodation and sustenance.

He gave the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea a flat number in Grenfell Tower – where 72 people lost their lives in June 2017 - that did not exist. He had previously live in the tower “years” before.

When questioned by RBKC Ettienne refused to give further information claiming his flat might contain ‘top secret’ information about alleged work he was doing with foreign governments on renewable energy.

He even claimed that his supposed work had earned him diplomatic immunity as a result of him being attached to the US Mission in Geneva – which represents the US government.

Ettienne was later found to have no diplomatic status in the UK and although he had started two renewable energy companies – both had failed due to a lack of trading. Evidence showed that he was in fact a second-hand vintage clothing trader.

Kim Taylor-Smith, deputy leader of RBKC, said: “Fraud is an issue the council takes very seriously, not just because taxpayers’ money is being used to support people, but because genuine survivors and bereaved families have raised concerns with us, and we share those concerns.

“Our absolute priority has always been to assist and help first – it is only right that we do so when families are faced with such extreme trauma and tragedy.”

He was arrested in September last year.

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