Ali, who had represented the Whitechapel ward, appeared in Snaresbrook Crown Court for sentencing in relation to one count of housing fraud under Section 3 of the Fraud Act 2006 (fraud by failing to disclose information).
The defendant had failed to notify Tower Hamlets of a change in his circumstances between the date that he completed a housing application form and the date that he accepted a council tenancy. Ali had been under a continuing duty to do so. The defendant also failed to disclose that he owned two properties.
Ali was disqualified from office as a councillor under the rules of the Local Government Act 1972 and may not stand again for five years. Tower Hamlets is required to hold a by-election within 35 days of two electors giving notice.
Will Tuckley, chief executive of Tower Hamlets Council, and Returning Officer, said:
Tower Hamlets is a densely populated London borough with almost 20,000 people on our housing waiting list. Mr Ali’s actions had a significant impact on others and meant that residents in urgent need of housing could not be accommodated.Tuckley added: “Tower Hamlets Council will always investigate fraudulent activity and we will pursue legal action whenever we can. I would like to praise the work of the council officers who brought this case to light and who worked hard to see it through to [this] conclusion.”
This was compounded by his role as an elected member, in a position of trust, and one where he represented many of the people affected by the housing challenges we face.