Showing posts with label Solicitor benefit fraud. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Solicitor benefit fraud. Show all posts

26 Oct 2019

Councillor committed social housing fraud

A former east London councillor has been warned he could face jail for a decade-long housing fraud that was uncovered while he was in office.

Muhammad Harun, 49, remained on the Tower Hamlets social housing list while owning a property within the borough and another in neighbouring Barking.

Harun, a solicitor, cost the council about £125,000 which could have been spent on housing vulnerable families for the duration of the con.

It only came to light seven months after he was elected as a Tower Hamlets councillor in May last year. He resigned his seat during an inquiry.

Harun admitted two offences of housing fraud last month and was told by a judge yesterday there were “no promises” he will be spared jail next month.

Snaresbrook crown court heard Harun had claimed assistance under the Homelessness Act 2002 after being evicted in 2006.

The next year he bought a house in Lancaster Avenue, Barking, for £230,000 while still registered in social housing in Tower Hamlets.

Judge English warned him he faces jail because of the length of time the fraud went on for and the number of housing claims he made.

Source with picture of him

8 Nov 2018

Solicitor struck off for benefit fraud

A former solicitor convicted of housing benefit fraud has been banned from the profession.

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal last month struck off Abosede Akinleye following the 59-year-old’s conviction for fraud by false representation.

Akinleye, who also sat occasionally as a member of the employment tribunal and was not practising at the time, was found to have made a false representation in an application for a discretionary housing payment to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. She was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court to a 12-month community order and 200 hours’ unpaid work for the community.

In sentencing, the judge said Akinleye signed a declaration which was purported to be a true record of her financial and personal situation, but a jury found she dishonestly and deliberately concealed a post office account in which there was a balance of nearly £3,000.

The judge made clear there was ‘no question’ of her having carelessly omitted this information.

Akinleye accepted there was nothing she could do about the conviction and admitted breaching SRA rules, but she continued to deny having acted dishonestly.

In mitigation, she accepted she made a serious error of judgement but said the post office account was a benefit account which largely paid for family members: she deliberately left this section blank on her application form because she did not want to guess what was in the account. She maintained she was eligible for housing benefit.

Akinleye said she was ashamed and profusely apologised to the SRA and members of her profession. Since her conviction, she had not been able to take up employment and was now claiming universal credit.

The tribunal accepted her misconduct was a one-off but said it had been deliberate, and the solicitor had not shown any genuine insight into her actions. She was struck off and ordered to pay £3,300 in costs.