Raja Imran Khan, 33, from Beckton, pleaded guilty at Inner London Crown Court to two counts of using a false instrument and one count of failing to notify a change of circumstance.
He was sentenced to 12 months in jail, suspended for two years, and will have to do 200 hours unpaid work. He must also pay court costs of £3,000.
The court heard he continued to claim the benefits - totalling £29,100 - on the home in Viscount Drive, also in Beckton, until February 2011, despite leaving it in 2007.
Pretty easy, then.
The scam was uncovered by Newham Council’s benefits team after a routine check. Somebody else was found to be living at the address and the council was later told by Khan that he did not have a permanent address.
The subsequent investigation discovered his housing benefit claim was based on a false tenancy agreement and a false electricity bill used to infer that he was living at the claim address.
- Benefit thieves do it for the money. They should know they will have to pay back twice what they stole. They should not be eligible for any benefits until they have, and they should have to do several hours of unpaid work every week until the debt to society is cleared.
That would be a deterrent.
A confiscation order should be made immediately.