Germany’s ‘fake fathers’: Nigerian migrant calling himself Mr. Cash Money claims to have 24 foreign children

By John Cody
8 Min Read

Foreigners in Germany are defrauding taxpayers out of millions by claiming they have foreign children who are not actually theirs, with the women involved in the scams winning social benefits and residence permits.

The investigative report on the explosion in “fake fathers” comes from the publicly funded RBB and ARD, which profiles Jonathan A., a flamboyant Nigerian known for posing with his luxury fleet of German cars in Nigeria despite German authorities labeling him as “destitute.” The migrant is making so much off of German taxpayers that he has labeled himself “Mr. Cash Money.”

According to public media, German taxpayers are paying for his 24 children from various women, who are mainly from African countries. Jonathan A., who was born in Nigeria, has since obtained German citizenship. As a result, any child he has, regardless of where they are born, automatically receives citizenship, and through family reunification, the mothers, the children, and their relatives automatically receive the right to reside in Germany. In Jonathan A.’s case, this total currently equals 94 people.

He earns approximately €22,000 in welfare payments for his various children and has an additional two paternity applications in the pipeline. Nevertheless, the office responsible for disbursing payments to the man labels him as “destitute” since he earns no income from any job.

[pp id=100117}

How does the scam work? There are millions — if not billions — of people who want to gain access to Germany and its social benefit system. For those foreigners who obtain citizenship, they can leverage that citizenship to make money by claiming fake paternity of children abroad. Germany already sends hundreds of millions in benefits abroad every year to real children, but increasingly, many of these children are fake.

In the case of Jonathan A., authorities are reporting a clear case of a paternity system that is being abused due to loopholes.

Axel Boshame, an immigration official from the Arnsberg district government, said that “the suspected cases of children of mothers from West African countries and countries in the Western Balkans are increasing in (the German state of) North Rhine-Westphalia.”

[pp id=76417]

He specifically points to Jonathan A., saying he assumes “systematic abuse of paternity recognition.”

“Sham paternity is about allowing people who actually have no prospects of staying in Germany to stay in Germany. These people are willing to pay money for this, usually to the person who takes on the fictitious paternity.” 

In other words, women are paying Jonathan A. to take on paternity for children that are not actually his. These women in turn gain the right to settle in Germany and receive social benefits for themselves and their children.

Compounding the problem is that lying about paternity in Germany is not a criminal offense.

Systematic abuse

Jonathan A. is far from the only one, and authorities estimate there have been tens of thousands of such cases in recent years. However, his case highlights just how big the problem is growing.

ARD reviewed records from 2017 from the Interior Ministry, and the ministry stated at the time that the “annual nationwide burden on taxpayers” is over €150 million. However, that was over seven years ago, when the migration crisis that hit Germany was just picking up steam. More recent data is simply not available, but there is little doubt that this number has also exploded higher in tandem with record numbers of foreigners coming into the country

A co-author of the report, Andreas Keppke, told ARD and RBB that in the specific case of Jonathan A., “this man alone costs significantly more for the social security system than €1.5 million per year.” Keppke runs a team that evaluates how much taxpayers are being defrauded in cases involving abuse of paternity.

Nigerian migrant Jonathan A. posts on Instagram under the moniker Mr. Cash Money to advertise his lavish lifestyle.

However, it is difficult to ascertain the true extent of the paternity fraud. In order to ensure data protection and privacy, there is no centralized database tracking all the children applicants have in paternity cases; however, a mishmash of agencies and offices do report extraordinary cases to the immigration authorities. As a result, a true picture of the level of fraud is hard to come by, as the full data is simply not available.

As Remix News previously reported, migrants are draining the country’s financial coffers, even as left-wing parties claim a more diverse society is Germany’s strength and will help fund the pension system.

“The country’s welfare system, once referred to as Hartz IV, but now relabeled as citizen’s money (“Bürgergeld”), is now flowing to the country’s migrants, even though they make up a small share of Germany’s overall population. In fact, in some German states, they take in over 70 percent of all welfare money at a time when services and benefits are being cut for Germans across the country.

Overall, 62.6 percent of all welfare recipients are migrants, and within the 15 to 25 age group, this number goes up to 71.3 percent.”

Criminal charges in Berlin

Although criminal charges are rare, a gang of 10 Vietnamese people is currently standing trial in Berlin, accused of “smuggling people in through sham marriages and acknowledgments of paternity.”

This group of people found homeless German men and paid them to become “fathers” of Vietnamese women’s children, giving the homeless men between €500 and €1,500 to claim paternity. In return, the mothers of the children paid the gang up to €35,000 for the illegal service. Berlin prosecutor Frank Pohle accuses the men of performing the scam with at least 20 children and their mothers in order for the mothers to obtain a residence permit in Germany.

The German media report claims authorities are working on a series of new laws to help fight these frauds; however, in cases where the state has recognized a child as having a German father, this finding “cannot be revoked.”

Authorities also do not check to ensure there is some kind of social connection between the alleged fathers and the children they claim are theirs. In other words, there is no real accountability behind these claims, only paperwork that needs to be presented.

Share This Article