This is good news. Right to buy fraud is a wicked crime, taking a property out of the social housing stock at a big discount under false pretences. In this instance he was caught in time, and given an 18 month prison sentence.
A conman who tried to buy a council flat under the Right to Buy scheme was jailed after officers discovered he was illegally subletting it. (h/t Tenancy Fraud)
Babak Karimaghaei, 37, claimed to be living in a bedsit in Park View on the Highbury Park Estate when he applied to buy it. But Islington Council’s housing investigations team discovered he was living somewhere else, and he was prosecuted before he could get a £103,000 discount.
On Friday, March 31 at Blackfriars Crown Court, Karimaghaei was convicted of fraud by false representation, and jailed for 18 months.
Sentencing him, judge Richardson said: “Immediate custody is required to punish a cynical abuse of a right intended for people who were really living in the house which they were applying to buy.”
Town hall housing boss Cllr Diarmaid Ward said Right-to-Buy fraud took housing away from the people who badly needed it and profited fraudsters like Karimaghaei. “We will investigate all suspected right-to-buy fraud, take legal action where there is evidence, and pursue the strongest penalties against offenders,” he said.