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The father of an EastEnders’ actress and former Enfield council finance director has been labelled ‘a dishonest fool’ by a judge as he is jailed for four years for stealing almost £500,000 from the council coffers and then became a victim of fraud himself.
John Jossa, 58, whose daughter Jaqueline Jossa plays Lauren Branning in the soap, diverted almost half a million pounds of taxpayers money into his own personal account from 2006 to 2010.
In 2009, he was made redundant, receiving £170,000 in severance pay but managed to continue with his crime into the following year. The ex-head of finance produced false invoices and even lied about his wife working for the North London council, paying £42,000 into her account for work she had never carried out.
In an ironic twist of fate, Jossa subsequently lost a substantial amount of the money he pocketed in boiler room scams, leaving only £25,000 of the illicit funds having been returned to the local government so far.
Having pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to one count of obtaining money by deception and two counts of fraud, Jossa was sentenced at the Old Bailey by Judge Nicholas Cooke QC.
‘You have taken £491,000 odd of funds of no doubt hard-pressed local authority. Knowing that you had done that, you accepted another £170,000 odd by way of payment on termination of your employment at that same local authority.
‘The prospect of further recovery (in addition to £25,000) on behalf of local residents is bleak.
‘You continue to receive a local authority pension. How long that may continue and whether anything can be done about that is not a matter for me,’ the Judge said.
In regard to the fraud Jossa was a victim of, he remarked: ‘In addition to being fully dishonest, he's a fool.’
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