Dabeer Ul Haque forged documents to claim housing benefits
A benefit cheat has been jailed for two years and ordered to pay back the nearly £18,000 he swindled from the public purse after his crimes were uncovered by council fraud investigators.
Dabeer Ul Haque forged documents to obtain higher housing benefit payments and also submitted false details to get the keys to a council flat.
Jailing him for two years at Kingston Crown Court, Judge Michael Hunter said it was “a carefully planned and sophisticated fraud”.
Mr Ul Haque had, he said, involved “a completely innocent landlord as part of his elaborate scheme”, and that his offending was a “classic example of a crime against the community”.
The court heard that Mr Ul Haque, who now lives in Dukes Avenue, New Malden, made a housing benefit claim in 2010 for an address in Gressenhall Road in Southfields.
In support of this claim he submitted a forged tenancy agreement which stated his landlord was charging him £2,050 rent a month. Investigators later discovered the correct amount was just £1,650.
Not long afterwards his wife found work but Mr Ul Haque failed to fulfil his legal obligation to inform the council, so that his benefit claim could be re-assessed.
He then produced a series of fake documents in order to get a council flat, many with forged signatures, including one that stated he and his family were being evicted by their landlord. This was untrue.
By claiming homelessness Mr Ul Haque and his family were initially placed in temporary accommodation before being offered a permanent council home in York Road, Battersea.
In court Mr Ul Haque pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud and was jailed immediately for two years. Once he is released from prison he must pay back just under £18,000. He has also been evicted from the York Road property.
Housing spokesman Cllr Paul Ellis said, “This was a particularly sophisticated and elaborate fraud but one which failed to mislead or confuse our investigators and as a result Mr Ul Haque is now serving a two year prison sentence.
“And once he is released from detention he will have to start paying back the money he swindled.
“This case should serve as a warning to people who are tempted to try and fiddle cash from the benefit system.
“We do routine checks into hundreds of claims each year, regardless of when they were first made. If you are on the fiddle then we will catch up with you one day and when we do you will be prosecuted, you could go to jail and you will have to pay back everything you weren’t entitled to.
“If you are tempted to make a false claim, my advice to you would be think again.”
April 3, 2017