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16 Jul 2015

Benefit thief goes to prison

A 'brazen' fraudster has been jailed for money laundering and illegally claiming nearly £28,000 in benefits.

Salih Ozbay, 37, of College Road, Walthamstow was sentenced to a year in prison after being found guilty of four charges including three benefit fraud offences and one money laundering offence at Waltham Forest Magistrates Court.

Waltham Forest council investigators discovered that between March 2008 and July 2012 Mr Ozbay received £26,000 in housing benefits and nearly £2,000 in council tax benefits that he was not entitled to.

The landlord had failed to declare that he was the owner of four properties for which he received a rental income, that he received student loans and grants and was the company secretary at two businesses.

The properties Mr Ozbay claimed benefits on were owned by his brother’s wife, which he also failed to declare.

During the period of receiving illegal benefits, Mr Ozbay unsuccessfully applied for discretionary housing payments, claiming that he was suffering severe financial hardship, and needed additional funds.

Mr Ozbay was sentenced to a year in custody for each charge to be served concurrently.

In sentencing at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Judge Hammerton described Mr Ozbay's actions as a, “brazen attempt to obtain benefits to which you were not entitled.”

A confiscation hearing will be held on November 6 2015.

Source

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