Day: October 17, 2017

JAIL FOR WOMAN WHO RAN £1.5M ESCORT AGENCY WHILE CLAIMING OVER £100K BENEFITS

A benefits cheat mum-of-five who made £1.5 million from her escort agency has been given a prison sentence for the second time after a retrial.

Janine Adeleke, 45, ran high class agency Carlton’s Of London which has a TOWIE star on its books while failing to disclose her income in a ‘quite breathtaking fraud’ for nearly eight years before she was caught.

MAIN-Maria-Fowlers-old-ESCORT-boss-is-a-scrounger

She spent more than £103,000 on beauty treatments, leisure and holidays, and over £88,000 in high street stores, according to  The Mirror

Adeleke, from Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, was found guilty two years ago and jailed for three years.

But a retrial, which has also found her guilty, heard how her family enjoyed private medical insurance, expensive holidays, and David Lloyd gym memberships.

 janine2
Janine Adeleke has been jailed again following a retrial (Image: SWNS)

She sent one of her children to the exclusive Roedean boarding school for girls, which costs £30,000 a year.

Judge Heather Norton told Canterbury Crown Court she had a “degree of understanding and compassion” for Adeleke spending the money on her children.

But she added: “This was quite simply breathtaking dishonesty on an extraordinarily wide scale and lengthy period.

“Your evidence, which was given over days, was evasive, difficult to follow and contradictory and when you were asked a question which you were not expecting, you had difficulty in providing a sensible answer and became flustered.”

Web grab of the Carltons Of London website
Adeleke ran Carlton’s Of London (Image: SWNS)

Adeleke denied seven counts of cheating the taxman and money-laundering, but was convicted a second time on all charges after a jury retired for more than 10 and a half hours before returning guilty verdicts by 10-2.

Although she has been given another three year jail term, she will only be inside for a few weeks as she has already served nearly a half the original sentence.

Prosecutor Allistair Walker said that for eight years, between November 2006 and October 2014, Adeleke failed to disclose her significant income – much of it coming from the ‘exclusive female escort’ agency.

janines

Investigators found that Adeleke had stolen £212,000 in unpaid Income Tax, National Insurance Contributions and tax credits payments by declaring that she had no income.

She also fraudulently claimed over £37,000 in Income Support and other state benefits, and laundered £157,000 of illicit cash.

They discovered that more than £1.2 million had passed through her bank accounts, enabling Adeleke to splash out at least £120,000 on private schools.

GV of the home of Janine Adeleke, Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex
The home of Janine Adeleke, Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex (Image: SWNS)

Mr Walker told the jury how Adeleke had been married but separated from her husband in 2006.

He added: “There followed a traumatic and bitter separation and there can be little doubt that as a consequence the defendant was left much less comfortably off.

“While claiming benefits she came to run a successful and expensive escort agency which boasted: ‘VIP Models of poise, sophistication and stunning good looks for elite gentlemen’.

“The profits she made from this she never declared The Mirror reports.

The agency took a cut of 35 per cent from its workers, who were charging between £200 and £2,000 an hour.

Tim Clarke, Assistant Director of HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, said: “Adeleke broke the law to fund a lavish lifestyle and privately educate her children.

Janine Adeleke
Cheat: Adeleke was jailed for three years in 2015 and has now been jailed again after a retrial (Image: SWNS)

“She defrauded vital public services and stole benefits designed to help struggling families.

“She pleaded poverty, but this was far from the truth.

“She didn’t declare her income because she didn’t want to pay any tax.

“As a further deception to hide her income, when Adeleke discovered she was being investigated, she laundered £157,000 through her elderly mother’s bank account.”
Adeleke was led away still protesting, and now faces demands to repay the money under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Culled from Mirror.co.uk
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METROPOLITAN POLICE DETECTIVE ADMITS TO STEALING MONEY CONFISCATED FROM PASSENGERS AT HEATHROW AIRPORT

A Metropolitan Police detective has admitted to carrying out 16 thefts totalling around £80,000 at Heathrow airport between 2010 and 2015.

DS Michael Harrington snatched money confiscated from passengers travelling out of the airport pending further investigations.

The cash should have been recorded and banked then returned to the owner if – following enquiries – there was no evidence it had been obtained by criminal means. But instead, Harrington, 46, kept it for himself.

In 2015, after a complaint by a member of the public that their funds had not been returned, an investigation was opened by the Met’s professional standards unit (DPS).

Searches of his home uncovered items including empty cash bags and various police documents – although none of the cash was recovered.

He was arrested on 28 July 2015 and suspended from his role as a financial investigator based within the Specialist Crime and Operations.

He was part of a Criminal Finance Team that regularly seized large amounts of cash from people travelling out of the country.

Detective Sergeant Stuart Hart, from the DPS, said: “DS Harrington clearly took advantage of his position to steal a large quantity of cash that had been seized at Heathrow.

“He remains suspended and once all criminal matters are complete, misconduct proceedings will take place.”

Brexit speech: Immigration
The money belonged to passengers flying out of HeathrowNeil Hall/Reuters

Harrington pleaded guilty to the offences at Southwark Crown Court on 17 October and is expected to be sentenced on 28 November. He is currently suspended from his role as a financial investigator based within the Specialist and Economic Crime Command.

He was charged on 6 April 2016 with 11 counts of theft, with another five later added to the indictment. He denied the charges at a pre-trial hearing earlier this month. His lawyer claimed the Economic Crime Unit’s system “had broken down”.

Edward Henry, defending, added: “People used each other’s passwords, people had access to each other’s cases and the integrity of the whole department was in question. When I say integrity I mean of the system.”

But the disgraced DS Harrington confessed to his crime on 17 October. He will be sentenced on 28 November.

To this day, none of the cash has been recovered.

 

IBTIMES.CO.UK

NETFLIX GROWING NICELY ACROSS THE WORLD AS STREAMING COMPANY EXCEEDS $11BILLION IN REVENUE

Netflix is on track to exceed $11 billion in revenue this year, according to the streaming giant’s Q3 earning report, which was just released. A statement from the company claims it’s “growing nicely across the world” and that “internet entertainment is delighting consumers”.

Despite a recent price hike in subscription rates, Netflix has over 109 million subscribers and remains at the helm of streaming sites. According to eMarketer, which estimates roughly 2.5 viewers for each paid Netflix subscription, there are an approximate 128 million current users in the U.S., representing a 6.6% jump from last year. 

Netflix added 5.3 million new subscribers globally (up 49% year-over-year) this quarter, beating its own projections of 4.4 million new subscribers. The company states that it under-forecasted both U.S. and international acquisition. In addition, year-to-date net adds of 15.5 million are up 29% versus last year. “We continued to benefit from a strong appetite for our original series and films, as well as the adoption of internet entertainment across the world,” the report read in part.

“Netflix hasn’t added as many subscribers in Q3 ever before, so the quarter can be considered a record-breaking one,” said Ville Salminen, owner of streaming news site Cordcutting.com and Netflix tracking site Allflicks. “Of course, we don’t know what kind of an impact Netflix’s recently announced price increase will have on current and potential subscribers. Personally, I’m not too worried. The market isn’t, for sure, since Netflix’s stock has never been higher.”

Eyebrows raised when Netflix upped the cost of its subscriptions last week, but the move didn’t backfire as the company’s shares hit an all-time high on Friday, briefly surpassing $200 for the first time ever. In fact, Netflix is up 60% this year compared with Disney’s 7% decline, Time Warner’s 5% gain, CBS’s 11% drop and the S&P 500’s 14% return.

Netflix bumped up subscription costs on two if its three streaming video plans in the U.S. and kept its basic plan, which allows standard-definition video streaming on one device at a time, at $7.99 a month. The price on its mid-range plan, which allows high-definition video streaming on two devices at a time, went up 10% to $10.99 a month from $9.99. Its top-tier plan, which allows for ultra-high-definition video streaming on up to four screens at the same time, was bumped up 17%, from $11.99 to $13.99 a month.

The up in price will, in part, help fund the company’s massive original content budget of $6 billion this year, up from $5 billion in 2016, and expected growth to $7-8 billion next year. Netflix stands strong behind its goal to self-develop, produce and own outright as many high-quality original shows and movies as possible in lieu of licensing content from networks and studios. The streamer’s formula of putting a lot of money upfront for its own content, then seeing a high return on investment over many years has worked.

Per eMarketer, the streaming behemoth will capture 66.2% of U.S. OTT video users. To put this into perspective, Amazon will have 85.3 million viewers this year, or 44.1% of OTT users.

“We see Netflix continuing to lead the way among digital streaming services and we’re holding to our forecast for growth in the connected TV sector,” said Principal Analyst, Video at eMarketer, Paul Verna. “These trends bode well for Netflix, but the company will face increasingly strong competition from established rivals such as Amazon and Hulu, and from new initiatives from the likes of Apple and Facebook. Those competitors are more broadly diversified than Netflix, which relies almost exclusively on content subscriptions. That means the only lever Netflix can pull is price increases, and with its most recent hike this month, it will not have much margin to squeeze additional revenue out of its users.”

According to eMarketer, this year a total of 222.7 million people in the U.S. will watch digital video content on any device, up 3.2% over 2016. Adults in the U.S. will spend an average 76 minutes per day watching digital video this year, which is up 9.3% over last year. And, for comparison, U.S. adults will spend an average of three hours and 58 minutes a day watching traditional television this year, which reflects a 3.1% drop from last year.  

Price hikes tend to unnerve investors and Wall Street, but as a leader in the world of streaming, it’s obvious that Netflix’s price increase was strategically announced before the release of the second season of Stranger Things and other popular offerings.

“The company has surely learned from last year’s very unpopular price increase. Even with the price increase, Netflix’s value proposition is unrivaled in comparison to other streaming services, and especially so for TV show lovers. Netflix is raising the price of its most popular plan by 10%, but the number of TV shows has already risen by 25% from last year,” explained Salminen. Original content, he added, is the best way to attract and retain subscribers. “This is understandable since Netflix’s original content is exclusive to the service and can’t be watched elsewhere. If you want to watch the second season of Stranger Things, you must subscribe to Netflix.”

Netflix has continued for years to up the number of TV shows offered. In October 2015, Netflix offered an approximate 1,100 TV shows in the U.S. and a year later the number was around 1,200. Currently, it’s around 1,500 according to Salminen’s research.  

In Q3, the streamer cites a 33% global streaming revenue rise year-over-year, driven by a 24% increase in average paid memberships and 7% growth in ASP. The company’s operating income nearly doubled year-over-year to $209 million with its Q3 global operating margin of 7% putting the streamer right on track to achieve its full year target of 7%.

Netflix also saw a pre-tax $51 million non-cash loss from F/X re-measurement on its Euro bond, or $39 million after tax based on a 24% tax rate, and a higher than expected excess tax benefit from stock based compensation that benefited its tax rate by $5 million versus its forecast.

The foreign currency impact was up $13 million and Q3 international revenue grew 54% year-over-year, excluding currency and the international contribution profit margin of 4.7% exceeded the 2.3% guidance, also due to the timing of content deals.  

Forecasts for Q4 include global net adds of 6.3 million (1.25 million stateside and more than 5 million internationally) versus 7 million last year, which was the streamer’s all-time high for quarterly net adds. “We recently announced price adjustments in many markets to our HD and 4K video plans while keeping our SD plan mostly unchanged. Existing members will be notified and their prices will be adjusted on a rolling basis over the next few months. Increased revenue over time will help us grow our content offering and continue our global operating margin growth.”

Netflix has been focused on a growing global operating margin as its primary profitability metric since hitting its 2020 U.S. contribution margin goal of 40% this past Q1. “This allows us to avoid near-term optimization for specific domestic or international contribution margin targets which could impede our long-term growth.”

The company anticipates this year’s fourth quarter to have a 34.4% U.S. contribution margin, which is a decline both year-on-year and sequentially, as it boosts its marketing investment against a growing content slate. “We spend disproportionately in the U.S. to generate media and influencer awareness for our programming, which we believe, in turn, is an effective way to facilitate word of mouth globally. In our international segment, we are on track to generate positive contribution profit for the full year.”

As Netflix moves into 2018, the streamer aims to achieve steady improvement in international profitability and a growing operating margin as its success in many large markets helps fund investments throughout Asia and the rest of the world.

FORBES.COM

 

TONY ELUMELU FOUNDATION TO WORK WITH UNDP TO PROMOTE AFRICAN ENTREPRENEURSHIP

The United Nations Development Programme and the Tony Elumelu Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to express their desire to work together to further promote entrepreneurship in Africa.

The MoU was signed by Tony O. Elumelu, CON, and the Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa, Lamin Manneh, on October 14, 2017, at the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurship ecosystem―The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum― held in Lagos, Nigeria.

UNDP and TEF will work together to equip start-ups and existing small enterprises (SMEs) with necessary entrepreneurship skills to enable them to grow their businesses. The two institutions believe that this support will help unleash the entrepreneurs’ potential to create wealth and jobs, and contribute to efforts aimed at reducing poverty and inequality across Africa, thereby helping countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Equal attention will be paid to developing systems that will enable the partners to monitor the performance of entrepreneurs and their contribution to Africa’s growth and prosperity.

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Tony Elumelu

Speaking on the partnership, Mr Elumelu said, “Since the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme was launched, we have received over 150,000 applications, but every year we are constrained to support only 1,000. We are constantly seeking means to bring help to this much broader universe of deserving entrepreneurs. We want to give this group, that we have been unable to select, a chance too and this partnership with UNDP will help us begin to scale our impact”.

“Investing in Africa’s emerging entrepreneurs does not just address inequality, but also stimulates innovative thinking and helps in developing local solutions to local development challenges on the continent – it will spur innovation and structural transformation in Africa and bring about shared prosperity across the continent,” said Lamin, who added that the partnership with TEF will enhance networking among entrepreneurs through UNDP’s Youth Connekt initiative.

With a special focus on young and women entrepreneurs, TEF and UNDP will also undertake initiatives that will enable start-ups and small businesses to access affordable credit and other financial services they require to grow and diversify their businesses. UNDP and TEF will work together and contribute to efforts aimed at strengthening the enabling environment for private sector development, especially emerging entrepreneurs.

MOU Details:

Both parties agree to cooperate in the following areas of activity:

1.   Promote Entrepreneurship Development in Africa with focus on Startups and existing SMEs;

2.   Provide entrepreneurship skills training to start-ups and emerging African entrepreneurs with greater focus on youths and women;

3.   Deliver Business Development Services (BDS) necessary for start-ups and existing SMEs across Africa for growth and diversification;

4.   Promote innovation, technology development, networks and market linkages among African Entrepreneurs;

5.   Undertake initiatives that promote access to affordable credit, guarantees and other financial services suitable for start-ups and small businesses in Africa; and

6.   Foster partnerships with State and non-State actors to improve policy and business environment for local enterprises development in Africa.

7.   Jointly develop structures for the systematic monitoring and evaluation of the impact on African entrepreneurs.

8.   Engage private sector leaders, corporations and businesses to support the development of African entrepreneurs.

 

To find out more details, visit http://www.tonyelumelufoundation.org

LONDON HOUSE PRICES 2.5% LOWER THAN LAST YEAR AND FALLING

London house prices dipped again in October with 2.5 per cent knocked off asking prices in the capital compared to a year ago.

The average property price in Greater London is now £630,000 according to the Rightmove house price index.

The property website attributed the fall to reductions on the sale price of homes at the top end of the market, plus there are more properties on the market compared to 12 months ago.

“It will be harder for this autumn’s sellers to secure a sale because buyers have more choice, with a 4.5 per cent increase in new seller numbers compared to this time a year ago,” said Rightmove director Miles Shipside.

However, the research found that for certain types of homes, sellers with a sound pricing strategy may still be able to secure a sale in the 69 days before Christmas.

Read also: Rents in London and South East at lowest autumn level for four years

HOW TO SELL BY CHRISTMAS

The most in-demand homes right now are in the second-stepper and first-time buyer sectors, with the average time taken to find a buyer 63 and 64 days respectively. This is compared to 86 days for London’s most expensive homes.

“Whilst affordability is very stretched, it is still countered by the motivation to own a home rather than rent, or the need for extra space to house a growing family,” said Shipside.

“Sellers looking to find a buyer before Christmas have a head start if they are selling a property in these two more mass-market sectors, as that is where there is the greatest demand. However, with buyers’ spending power in the capital failing to keep pace with rises in property prices in recent years, and with a rise in interest rates being more heavily trailed by the Bank of England, sellers in these most popular sectors should still be wary of over-pricing.

“Buyers will be looking for the best buy on the market in their desired area either in terms of price or quality of finish.”

The best-performing boroughs were also among the most moderately priced in the capital with Bexley in south-east London (average price £380,000) and Redbridge in east London (average price £487,000) topping the table with 6.2 per cent asking price rises.

TROUBLE AT THE TOP

There was an 8.6 per cent annual decrease in asking prices for ‘top of the ladder homes’ – those with five bedrooms or more as well as four-bedroom detached houses.

Asking prices were lowered by 5.3 per cent on homes in inner London, with London’s most expensive borough, Kensington & Chelsea, also seeing the biggest price drop of 9.4 per cent to £2.1 million.

“The upper-end market is re-adjusting, with prices of newly-marketed properties in this sector down by 8.6 per cent compared to a year ago,” said Shipside.

“They have seen high gains over recent years however, so any feeling of bah-humbug should be put into that context.”

NIGERIA: LAGOS STATE UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITAL TO PERFORM CARDIAC SURGERIES

The Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, has announced plans to commence full cardiac surgeries.

According to LASUTH’S Chief Medical Director Prof. Adewole Oke, the development is part of efforts to stem overseas medical tourism by Nigerians,

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) during a briefing in Lagos on Tuesday that the teaching hospital was striving to be the hub of qualitative healthcare delivery in Nigeria.

Oke said the hospital was making all effort to bring about an end to the need for Nigerians travelling abroad to seek  treatments for conditions that could be treated locally.

“We have a government that is interested in the health sector; that is ready to move the sector forward. It has provided enough infrastructure and world class facilities.

“In other to complement the government’s efforts, we are also sharpening our skills to make sure that we provide world class services to make Lagos the hub of medical healthcare delivery.

“Not by the world of the mouth, LASUTH conducted five kidney transplants this week and two between yesterday and today with no input by any expatriates. All the surgeons are LASUTH doctors.

“We also carried out 1 cardiac surgery (heart replacement) about six months ago assisted by a number of foreign consultants, but soon we will stand on our own,’’ he said.

Prof-Wale-Oke

Oke said that with the world class facilities available in the teaching hospital, it was set to stand without any assistance from overseas as regards surgery.

“As it stands today, we can boast of first class infrastructure, hence, we can also provide first class services in terms of healthcare for Lagosians and Nigerians.

“We hope to build on our kidney transplant experience for the cardiac procedures.

We have had seamless cardiac surgery first, but we want to cross our Ts and dot our Is on it.

 

EAST LONDON SCHOOL TEACHER ASKS PUPILS TO DRESS AS “SLAVES” TO CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH

A Forest Gate primary school has been forced to apologise for sending home a letter asking pupils to come into school dressed as slaves for Black History Month.

On Friday parents and carers of a year two class at St Winefride’s Catholic Primary School were sent a letter asking for their children to come to school in “dirty and worn out” clothes for a special assembly.

“It might be an idea to not wash these clothes and stain them with tea or coffee to look more authentic,” the letter added.

Girls were encouraged to wear straw hats or fabric head wraps and boys were asked to wear straw hats or berets.

“You wouldn’t ask Jewish children to come in and re-enact the holocaust,” said one parent, who wished to remain anonymous.

However the school has put on a wide range of Black History Month activities, she added, including inviting poet Benjamin Zephaniah to speak to the children.

She does not think this incident is representative of the school’s general approach, but was instead the rogue actions of an individual teacher.

“They have done a lot for Black History Month,” she said.

The Church Road school’s headteacher, Paul Underwood, today issued an apology.

“I apologise on behalf of the school for Friday’s unauthorised letter and the offence caused,” he said.

The letter was seen by no senior members of staff before being sent, he added. Another letter has subsequently been sent to the same group of parents, apologising for the original.

A spokeswoman on behalf of the school said: “We deeply regret the offence caused to our pupils and school community. This letter was sent out without the approval of the school’s senior management team or governors.

“We have written to those who received the letter to apologise and we have also spoken to the members of staff involved and taken steps to ensure an incident like this does not happen again.

“We understand the importance of Black History Month and celebrate this by studying the success and achievements of black role models.

“The content of this letter is not inkeeping with the ethos of the school or a reflection of how the school celebrates Black History Month.”

Culled from NewhamRecorder