William Eichler 20 March 2019

Council-employed gang convicted of £1m benefit fraud

Council-employed gang convicted of £1m benefit fraud image

Seven benefit assessors have been convicted of housing benefit fraud which saw more than £1m stolen from three local authorities in London.

The assessors, who worked in the councils of Lambeth, Kingston and Barking and Dagenham, created false housing benefit claims and sent the funds to accounts they controlled over a period of six years.

The gang identified properties, collected details for—and approved—false claims and created appointments for the fraudsters at the council. They also used their systems to ensure council letters were not sent to the properties.

The defendants denied the charge of fraud but were convicted by a jury after a three-month trial at Southwark Crown Court. They have been sentenced to prison for a total of 17 years.

‘These council-employed assessors were trusted to look after badly needed public money meant to help people find somewhere to live,’ said Ben Reid of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

'Instead they corrupted the systems and sent over one million pounds to money launderers in the criminal underground.

‘During their trial they said they had no idea the claims were false and that they were simply processing papers given to them by their managers.

‘However, the CPS prosecution showed the jury messages between them and their co-conspirators planning the whole thing.

‘They have now been convicted by the jury and these public funds are safely out of their hands.’

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Principal Flood Risk Officer

Lancashire County Council
We have an exciting opportunity for a Principal Floor Risk Officer Lancashire
Recuriter: Lancashire County Council

Duke of Edinburgh Youth Support Worker

Essex County Council
£14597.0 - £19106.0 per month
Please note this is a part time contract - annualised hours 106 per year. Therefore the actual salary range is from £995.44 up to £1049.79 per annum. England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Internal Audit

Kent County Council
Up to £97,000 + benefits
We now have an exciting opportunity to strengthen and shape our Audit function, as... Maidstone, Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Director of Children’s Services

St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council
circa £120,000
This is an exceptional opportunity for someone who wants to make a real difference to the children, young people and families of our Borough. St Helens, Merseyside
Recuriter: St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council

Assistant Director, Social Care & Public Health Commissioning

Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council
c£71,000 to £89,000 per annum
Reporting to the Director of Strategic Commissioning you will lead Commissioning in the context of a developing Integrated Care System.  Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue