Six found guilty of benefit fraud following Redbridge Council investigation
- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima
A court found six people guilty of criminal offences on Tuesday, following a major investigation by Redbridge Council into housing benefit fraud.
Those convicted were, Sudhangshu Das, 44, of Longwood Gardens, Barkingside, Azhar Mohammed, 47, of Pedley Road, Dagenham, Ibrahim Miah, 43, of Axon Place, Ilford, Ismail Chowdhury, 45, of High Road, Ilford, Jakir Hossain, 40, of Blythswood Road, Seven Kings, and Ranjit Saha, 55, of Ripley Road, Seven Kings.
They were all found guilty of fraud, under section one of the Fraud Act 2006 and of dishonestly making false representations, under the Social Security Administration Act 1992.
In her closing comments at Snaresbrook Crown Court, judge Sarah Paneth said: “What you have done is commit a gross abuse of the system which allowed for the freedom of movement of labour.”
Sentencing for will take place on Friday, July 22, but Mr Chowdhury will be sentenced at the end of August.
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Shamal Dutta, of Wellesley Road, Wanstead, was found not guilty on all counts.
The council had found a large number of people declaring false employment details in order to claim Housing Benefit.
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Cabinet member for finance and resources, Cllr Kam Rai said: “These cases clearly demonstrate that if you commit fraud in Redbridge we will absolutely come for you and you will be caught and punished.
“When people commit fraud against the council, they steal from you, your friends, family and the community.
“Fraud takes money away from vital services and impacts on us all.”
In April couple Chowdhury Muyeed, 52, and Asma Khanom, 47, were jailed for five and a half years and three and a half years respectively, for assisting foreigners falsely claim £1.6million in housing benefit.
Cllr Rai continued: “If you know someone who is committing fraud, I urge you to please come forward and anonymously report it.”
To report fraud anonymously call 08006335267 or email firstname.lastname@example.org