A housing fraudster who dishonestly withheld information to obtain a council property has landed a six month suspended sentence and a bill of £2,000.
Dudley Council successfully brought a case against Ali Hasan Mohammed Ali, aged 33 and formally of Huntingtree Road, at Wolverhampton Crown Court. It was found that Mr Ali, who failed to disclose that he owned a property, was allocated a council property based on false application. Had he declared his true circumstances he would not have been eligible for social housing.
Ali went on to apply to purchase the property through the ‘Right to Buy’ scheme and would have benefitted from a £56,000 discount if he had been successful.
He pleaded guilty to an offence under Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006 and was sentenced to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work as well as receiving a 6 months custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to pay £2,000 in costs. Alan Lunt, deputy chief executive at Dudley Council, said:
"Our priority is rightly focused on providing social housing for those who are most deserving and in need of it and it is regrettable that someone has attempted to cheat the system in this way.
"We are once again showing people that we take these matters very seriously and anyone who is found to be dishonest in housing applications risks facing the full force of the law.
"Dudley Council’s Housing Fraud team also recovered possession of the 3 bed Council house in Huntingtree Road, Halesowen after identifying Mr Ali’s fraud which will be made available to an applicant who is in need and eligible from the Council’s waiting list."
People with any concerns about housing fraud can contact the Fraud Hotline on 01384 814242 or through Dudley Council Plus on 0300 555 2345.