Showing posts with label Barnet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Barnet. Show all posts

14 Aug 2018

Barnet prosecutes blue badge offenders

Parking cheats caught using blue badges which were not theirs now have criminal records. (h/t FraudManager)

Barnet Council has fined and prosecuted over 30 drivers caught abusing the system in the last three months.

Council officers also issued cautions to a further 33 motorists during the same period.

Among those prosecuted was 65-year-old Joseph Dan, from Edgware.

He was caught misusing a family member’s badge to park – having already received a warning for the same crime in another borough. He told officers he did not realise what he was doing but pleaded guilty to charges at Willesden Magistrates’ Court in June. He was fined £280, ordered to pay costs of £400 and a victim surcharge of £30.

Council Leader, Cllr Richard Cornelius, said: “Blue badges are intended for residents who are in genuine need, not for those looking for a way to park wherever they want, free of charge.

“The number of prosecutions brought by our CAFT officers shows just how much hard work goes into making sure drivers abusing the system are caught and dealt with.”

In April, Kalaiselvi Sripalan, 53, from Colindale, used a dead relative’s badge and received a £400 fine and an order to pay £600 in costs after pleading guilty at Willesden Magistrates’ Court.


11 Feb 2015

Barnet & Hertsmere sum losses to benefit fraudsters

Fraudsters who pretended to be hard-up to swindle money out of the benefit system have cheated a council out of nearly £6million in the past ten years. (h/t Dave)

In response to a Freedom of Information Request from the Times Series, Barnet Borough Council admitting to paying out £6,302,097 to people later found to be committing benefit fraud.

The money was paid out to 231 people who were later convicted between 2005 and 2014.

The highest amount was paid out in the 2013/14 financial year, when £1,195,154 was given to fraudsters.

Although the authority says it is impossible to tell exactly much money has been recovered, 40 per cent is paid back by the Department for Work and Pensions. Courts also often order people to repay the money on payment plans.

In neighbouring Hertsmere, which covers Potters Bar, a similar request showed £916,063 has been paid out to 101 fraudsters since 2006. It has so far recovered £815,295 from the DWP and payment plans.


23 Dec 2014

Tenant gets suspended sentence for illegal sublet

A tenant who illegally advertised his council house on Gumtree has received a suspended sentence.

Steven Gregory, of Booth Road, Colindale, put the house in Bell Lane, Hendon, up for rent on the sellers’ site – even though it was owned by Barnet Homes and he was merely a tenant.

The 33-year-old has been sentenced to eight week suspended for one year and has been asked to pay £100 towards the council’s costs, and an £80 victim surcharge.

He was given the keys to the one-bedroom flat in April this year, but within weeks had sublet it for £600 a month.

He took a deposit and the remainder of the first month’s rent and had the tenant sign an agreement, which he downloaded from the Internet.

The investigation carried out by Barnet Borough Council’s corporate anti-fraud team revealed that he also continued to fraudulently claim housing benefit by stating that he was living at the address.

Councillor Richard Cornelius, leader of Barnet Council, said:
Council housing is there for people in genuine need so it’s totally unacceptable that someone should attempt to profit from a council property and effectively prevent it going to somebody who really needs it. I would urge anyone with information about housing fraud to get in touch.

Let's hope the property has been repossessed and given to someone who really needs it.

6 Aug 2014

Well done, Barnet!

Barnet Borough Council says it has prevented housing fraud worth £11.9million in the past year.

The authority’s corporate anti-fraud team discovered millions of pounds of fraudulent activity relating to tenancies and the Government's right to buy scheme.

The team managed to recover 63 illegally sublet council houses after an investigation and a tenancy fraud ‘amnesty’ held last year.

Each house is worth £150,000 – the average cost of building a new social housing unit – giving a total figure of £9.4m.

During the same time, the team successfully prevented 11 instances of people attempting to take advantage of the Right to Buy scheme despite not being entitled to take part.

This gives tenants the chance to buy the property they are living in with a discount of £100,000, meaning the team prevented £1.1m of fraud from being committed.