Council cracks down on benefit cheats

Two men and a woman have recently been sentenced for failing to declare their full income whilst they were in receipt of benefits.
Mohammed Islam, 33, from Montclare Street, E2, failed to declare his partner’s income for almost six years. He illegally obtained £17,409.74 of Housing Benefit, £5,043.41 of Council Tax Benefit and £33,920.of Income Support between 2006 and 2012.
Mr Islam was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment and £100 fine at Snaresbrook Crown Court on January, 14 2014.
Barrie Brett, 53, from Sewardstone Road, E2, failed to declare that he had been selling electrical equipment on E-bay for more than four years. He illegally obtained £19,406.82 of Housing Benefit, £2,771.35 of Council Tax Benefit and £18,489.42 of Income Support.
Mr Brett was sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment at Thames Magistrates Court on January 16, 2014.
Miss Mona Ahmed, 26, from Harford Street, Stepney, London, E1 failed to declare that she had commenced full time higher education and was in receipt of income in the form of student loans and grants.
On January 21, 2014, Miss Ahmed received a Community Order for a period of 18 months at Thames Magistrates’ Court, including 240 hours of unpaid work and a 30 day curfew, where she is electronically tagged from 6pm to 6am. Miss Ahmed must also pay a Victim surcharge of £60, which is used to fund victim services through the Victim and Witness General Fund.
Tower Hamlets Council’s Investigations Team works closely with other departments in the council, other councils, the Department for Work and Pensions, the police and members of the public to identify cases of fraud.
Councillor Ohid Ahmed, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “The welfare state offers vital protection to the most vulnerable in our society and should not be abused. We will continue to do everything in our power to stamp out benefit fraud.”
Anyone wanting to report a suspected benefit fraud can contact the Benefit Fraud Investigations Team on 020 7364 7427.

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