May 19 2013 Latest news:
Lorraine King, News editor
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Kelvin Kallo conned Brent and Bedfordshire Council
A fraudster has been convicted of scamming two councils out of £100,000 in benefit payments by pretending to be partially blind and disabled.
Fraud investigators caught Kelvin Kalloo, from Dunstable, Bedfordshire, driving three cars, and working and walking unaided despite claims that he had been injured in a car crash.
He was also seen working at his family business in Watford market, again without any aids or apparent issues with his sight.
Harrow Crown Court heard that, between 2002 and 2008, the 34-year-old claimed £70,000 worth of Direct Payments from adult social services in Brent to pay for a carer and that he was given a blue disabled badge.
He was claiming the same benefit from Bedfordshire County Council, receiving £27,000 between 2002 and 2006.
Direct Payments are money paid directly to a person if they are assessed by a local authority as needing support from adult social services.
They can arrange their own care instead of the council providing it for them.
Harrow Crown Court heard that Kalloo had failed to tell either council that his carer was his wife, that he had other income and that he owned four properties.
His case was first noted as being at high risk of fraud in 2008. Brent launched an investigation, which was also done on behalf of Bedfordshire Council, and they grew increasingly suspicious after officers visited Kalloo’s home and found a letter that had supposedly been addressed to his carer at his address.
He was arrested in October 2008 and a search of his property found evidence of an additional income and more bank accounts.
Last week he was convicted of ten counts of fraud after a seven-week trial.
He will be sentenced on January 30.
Cllr Ruth Moher, Brent Council’s deputy leader and lead member for corporate resources, said: “Fraud against the social care system directly affects some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
“We are determined to root out fraud in this and all our services and take the strongest possible action against fraudsters.
“We will not be deterred by the prospect of complex, lengthy investigations and will continue to prosecute those individuals who seek to line their own pockets at the taxpayers’ expense and those in genuine need.”
She added: “It is unfair that, while times are hard for many in Brent, a very small minority think it’s OK to make fraudulent claims for benefits and services.”