19 Jan 2015

Benefit claimant with false identity gets 18 months in jail

A man with two identities who falsely claimed more than £61,000 in Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the London Borough of Wandsworth has been sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to eight counts of fraud and two counts of using false identity documents. (h/t A Reader)

Mr Hassan Samrani (45) had claimed benefit on two properties in Kensington and Chelsea using the name Noureddine Belaidi, as well as claiming on a property in Wandsworth, declaring himself to be the sole recipient of benefit.

Suspicions arose after council officers received information from the Metropolitan Police which had successfully prosecuted Samrani for being in possession of a false French passport in the name of Noureddine Belaidi. Documentation received during the police investigation showed Belaidi was in fact Mr Hassan Samrani, a Moroccan national.

Subsequently, Council investigators obtained witness statements and documentation from the Metropolitan Police and Mr Samrani was interviewed under caution on 27 November 2013, with officers from Wandsworth Council present. During the interview he accepted his real name was Hassan Samrani.

Following an investigation Samrani was summonsed by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in respect of the offences on behalf of both boroughs

On the 24 October 2014 Mr Samrani, who had pleaded not guilty at a previous hearing, changed his plea to guilty on all counts at Isleworth Crown Court.

The case took eleven months from the interview to come to court.

In sentencing Samrani His Honour Judge Denniss stated that the offences had taken considerable planning including paying for a false ID, passport and driving licence.

The court heard in mitigation that Mr Samrani had sought to regularise his immigration status and now has four children with his wife and also stepchildren.

In summing up Judge Denniss indicated that his starting point for sentencing was 24-months in custody. However, he gave Samrani limited credit for changing his plea to guilty and sentenced him to 18-months imprisonment to run concurrently on all counts.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Out within a year, white collar crime so possibly an open prison. As soon as he is released, he can claim benefits again.

How do we get the £50K back?