10 Sep 2014

Benefits thief built up £1m property empire

A benefits cheat who built up a £1million property empire while claiming to be too ill to work has been jailed.

Dean Ahmed, 49, had a secret luxury property empire while posing as a single, disabled man who deserved state handouts. While receiving the benefits - income support and disability living allowance - he banked more than £100,000 while also collecting rent from at least ten houses across Europe. A court heard Ahmed had three houses in Spain and seven in Wales which he rented out.

He was jailed for two years and eight months after the court heard he was also paid disability living allowance for being too ill to get a job.

All the while the illicit property entrepreneur had lived in a plush apartment in Cardiff Bay - and bought another six in the same waterfront area.

Cardiff Crown Court heard he used a false identity to obtain mortgages and had built up a hidden property portfolio worth close to £1million.

Ahmed was jailed after admitting 15 charges: four counts of money laundering, three of mortgage fraud and eight of benefit and council tax fraud.

Forensic investigation of his finances found he was 'actively profiting as a property landlord, and had pocketed substantial rental income from his portfolio.'

He he had three luxurious apartments in Murcia, Spain, and regularly transferred large amounts of money to banks in the country.

The financial investigation also uncovered the sale and purchase of properties, many within the Cardiff Bay area, sourced by false mortgage applications.

Chief Inspector Gary Phillips said Ahmed now faced losing his properties after 'amassing a considerable amount of wealth by illegal means. Our focus now shifts to taking away the wealth and assets he has amassed under Proceeds of Crime legislation'.

More - mainly fatuous warnings that you'll always get caught.

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