William Eichler 18 January 2019

Benefit assessors convicted of £1m housing benefit fraud

Seven benefit assessors in London have been convicted of a housing benefit fraud worth over £1m.

The assessors identified properties, collected details for false claims and created appointments for the fraudsters at the council.

They also approved false claims and used their systems to ensure council letters weren’t sent to the properties to reveal their fraud.

In total, the seven benefit assessors, who worked in the local authorities of Lambeth, Kingston and Barking and Dagenham, defrauded the three councils of £1,025,912.

One defendant processed claims amounting to over £240,000.

Money was also sent into accounts controlled by money launderers who left the country before they could be charged.

‘These defendants were trusted with public money — but abused the systems to satisfy their own greed,’ said Ben Reid from the Crown Prosecution Service.

‘Their criminal network was large and complex. The CPS played an integral role in the successful prosecution of this case.

‘We were engaged with the investigators from an early stage and we are thankful that the hard work by all involved has paid off and justice has now been done.’

The defendants will be sentenced on 18 March 2019 at Southwark Crown Court.

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