Illie Schian sentenced for money laundering in London, England

Illie Schian, 46 of Enfield was today, Friday 19 November, sentenced to three years in prison at Southwark Crown Court having pleaded guilty to defrauding the Department for Work and Pensions; Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and Enfield Borough Council to the sum of £113,000.

The investigation was carried out by the Metropolitan Police Service’s ‘Operation Golf’ team.

Schian was arrested on Tuesday 20 July following a lengthy and detailed investigation by the Operation Golf team.

Schian has been living in the UK since 1999 under the false name of Nelus Gheorghe, using this name to commit benefit fraud and allegedly to assist in trafficking children into the UK.

Schian will be recommended for deportation to Romania at the conclusion of his prison sentence.

Chief Inspector Colin Carswell from the Operation Golf team, said: "Schian, as a member of an organised crime gang, spent 10 years in the UK exploiting the weakest from his own community as well as making a deliberate and sustained attack on the UK benefits system.

"He portrayed the image of being poor and in need of money from UK benefits. Our Romanian colleagues alongside my team proved this to be a lie. In Romania he owned a nine bedroom mansion, a BMW X5, Audi TT, motorbikes and quadbikes. In one of his Romanian bank accounts was the equivalent of £20,000. Schian now needs to answer the charges, laid against him in Romania, that he and others are responsible for trafficking 181 children to the UK."

Operation Golf is the UK half of a ‘Joint Investigation Team’ set up with the Romanian National Police to tackle a specific Romanian Roma organised crime gang who operate in London. The gang traffick to London children from the Romanian Roma community for the purpose of begging, stealing and benefit fraud.

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