Social housing tenant sentenced to 24 months for fraudulently claiming social housing

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Posted on: 30/04/2014 11:25 by Kevin Campbell-scott
Link: http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/about-the-city/what-we-do/media-centre/news-releases/2014/Pages/social-housing-tenant-sentenced-to-24-months-.aspx
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A former City of London social housing tenant has been convicted at the Old Bailey (29/04/2014) of using counterfeit identity documents to obtain social housing with the City of London Corporation.

The 54-year-old woman pleaded guilty to five charges in relation to social-housing fraud and housing-benefit fraud, at the Old Bailey on 29th April 2014, following an investigation by the City of London Corporation, which owns and manages 11 housing estates across seven London boroughs.

The court heard that the waiting time for honest applicants for a similar property is over 10 years, and that the woman had saved in excess of £127,000, compared to what she would have had to pay to rent a similar property in the private sector.

The City of London Corporation recovered possession of the fraudulently obtained property at an earlier hearing. The woman was given a 24-month sentence and was told that she will serve at least half of that sentence in prison, where she was immediately taken.

Chris Keesing, of the City of London Corporation’s Anti-fraud & Investigation Team, said tenancy fraud was not a victimless crime, as deprived others of housing that is in such desperate need across London: “People who dishonestly seek to obtain social housing from the City of London Corporation should realise that they will be caught, and that when they are, we will take robust action to ensure that not only do we recover the property, we seek to prosecute through the criminal courts. Those who are prosecuted end up with a criminal record, and like in this case, could even go to prison.”