Seven council workers convicted of housing benefit fraud

Southwark Crown Court
Southwark Crown Court

Seven benefit assessors who worked for London councils, including Lambeth, have been convicted of housing benefit fraud worth more than £1 million.

They will be sentenced on 18 March at Southwark Crown Court.

The assessors worked in Lambeth, Kingston, and Barking & Dagenham, where they created false housing benefit claims and sent the funds to accounts they controlled, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

They would identify appropriate properties, collect details for false claims and create appointments for fraudsters at the council.

They also approved false claims and used their systems to ensure council letters were not sent to the properties to reveal their fraud, the CPS said.

Money was sent into accounts controlled by money launderers who left the country before they could be charged.

One defendant processed claims amounting to over £240,000.

The defendants all denied fraud but were convicted by a jury after a three-month trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Ben Reid of the CPS said: “These defendants were trusted with public money – but abused the systems to satisfy their own greed.

“Their criminal network was large and complex. The CPS played an integral role in the successful prosecution of this case. We were engaged with the investigators from an early stage and we are thankful that the hard work by all involved has paid off and justice has now been done.”

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