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Gravesend student landlady must sell homes after being found guilty of fraud

PUBLISHED: 16:48 15 September 2015 | UPDATED: 16:48 15 September 2015

Ruth Smith-Ajala

Ruth Smith-Ajala

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She has been ordered to pay back almost £630,000

A STUDENT landlady who helped defraud hundreds of UK students online has been ordered to pay back almost £630,000 after admitting she made £1.2 million from her crimes.

Nigerian national Ruth Smith-Ajala, 46, of Redlands Way, Lambeth, was jailed in December 2013 for her part in conning students out of more than £1.5 million.

Students were sent emails inviting them to update details on their student loan accounts. But the link sent them to a fake website through which a criminal gang gained unauthorised access to their bank accounts and stole their money.

Smith-Ajala was found guilty of conspiracy to launder money and mortgage fraud relating to houses she was renting out in Gravesend, Northfleet, Chatham, Catford and Grays in Essex.

She will now have to sell the houses and forfeit the profits and the rent after a confiscation order – under which property acquired from the proceeds of crime is confiscated – was made at the Old Bailey on Monday.

She has three months to pay the money back, or she will be jailed for another five years – after which she will still owe the money.

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