YHFF™ MASTERCLASS: Operation Volcanic

On Wednesday 3 July 2024 16.00

We are delighted to welcome Ben Reid (Specialist Prosecutor, Crown Prosecution Service) and Gemma Brown (Deputy Director for Counter Fraud & Compliance Operations, Department of Work and Pensions) who will be presenting on Operation Volcanic.

Operation Volcanic resulted in members of Britain’s biggest benefit fraud gang being jailed for a combined total of more than 25 years. The gang had made thousands of false claims for Universal Credit over a four and a half year period, costing the taxpayer more than £53m.

Ben and Gemma will give members an inside view of the collaborative approach by DWP, CPS and other partners which drove the comprehensive investigation and successful prosecution. They will provide details of how the gang used both real and false identifies supported by an array of forged documents including fictitious tenancy agreements, counterfeit payslips and forged letters from landlords, employers, schools and GPs to commit their offences. The investigation identified three ‘benefit factories’ where repeated false claims for benefits originated from.

YHFF members will hear how forged documents, bundles of cash, a luxury car and high value designer goods were found and seized, and how the team compiled a wealth of incriminating evidence which contributed to the defendants all pleading guilty.

Ben and Gemma will also share their views on valuable lessons learned, giving YHFF members the benefit of their experiences from this major case.


Ben Reid is a Specialist Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service. He specialises in fraud and economic crime.

Gemma Brown is the senior leader of a team of 6,000 operational colleagues tackling fraud and error in the welfare system. These teams carry out a range of interventions taking civil and criminal action on claimants and their claims to benefit. Gemma has lead responsibility for Fraud Investigations including the Economic Serious & Organised Crime (ESOC) team. She has led the transformation of the Counter Fraud response in DWP responding to the increase in size and scale of benefit fraud. This has included introducing new operating models, expanding ESOC, building people and organisational capability and implementing new IT systems to enable delivery.  Gemma has carried out this role for the last 4 years. She has worked in the Counter Fraud, Compliance & Debt Directorate for 7 years and has been a Civil Servant for 22 years in total. 


16.00Welcome & IntroductionMichael Wong, KPMG LLP
16.05“Operation Volcanic”Ben Reid, CPS and Gemma Brown, DWP
17.05Q & A
17.35Close followed by refreshments

How to book

To book your place, please complete the registration form below:


How to pay


Attendance at this valuable Masterclass is free for all current YHFF ™ members.

If you are unable to attend in person a colleague is welcome to attend in your place; simply let us have the name of your replacement.


For non-members the cost will be £60 plus VAT (£72). This price includes membership of the YHFF™ with access to the three Masterclasses in the membership year to 30 September 2024. Payment is required prior to attendance at the event and is non-refundable.

By bank transfer: Please make payment to the YHFF™ bank account using the details below. Please include your name (individual/organisation) as the reference.

Bank: TSB
Account name: The Yorkshire and Humber Fraud Forum Limited
Sort Code: 30-94-53
Account number: 19748468

Invoices: Please let us know of any relevant invoicing details (such as PO number, address of accounts departments etc).

By PayPal: Please send PayPal payments to info@yhff.co.uk


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