Brent benefit cheat sent to prison

Six cheats prosecuted by Brent Council cheated taxpayers out of �190,000 between them

A BENEFIT cheat was sent to prison for six months after defrauding a council out of �73,000.

Five other cheats were hit with suspended sentences, fines, tagging, curfews and community service.

Between them they defrauded Brent Council out of �190,000 in housing and council tax benefit.

Brent Council secured the convictions during a series of trials at Brent Magistrates and Harrow Crown Court in November.

Three cheats lied about their landlords, another owned a property, a woman failed to declare her savings and a fitness instructor claimed not to work.

Maryam Tarifee, 61, of Chatsworth Road, Willesden, received the stiffest sentence with six months in prison for deception and benefit fraud, on November 11, after claiming �73,762 while staying at a relatives flat.

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Olabisi Shittu, 40, of Comber Close, Cricklewood, was given a suspended 14 week sentence and a 12 month supervision order, on November 16, after falsely claiming �39,136.

The midwife claimed her income had reduced despite working full-time with a part-time job on top.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, lead member for resources, said: “I hope this sends a clear message. We will pursue anyone who is claiming benefits they are not entitled to.

“Benefits are for the boroughs most needy residents and not to supplement the lifestyle of greedy fraudsters.”

Other fraudsters included Imran Ahmed and Erum Imran Shaikh, of Victor Grove, Wembley, who were sentenced to a 160 hour community punishment order each and fined �1,124 legal costs on November 16 after receiving �26,444.

Delia Hales-Higgins, 62, of Pipers Green, Kingsbury, received a suspended 22 week custodial sentence, on November 26, for claiming �13,797 while owning a �230,000 property.

Kim Roger, 51, of Purves Road, Kensal Rise, was given a suspended ten week sentence, tagged, given a four-month curfew and ordered to pay �3,637 in costs for claiming �16,218 in benefits while having �22,000 in savings.

And Sydney Dovie, 42, of Claremont Road, Maida Vale, was electronically tagged given 120 hours unpaid work and a curfew for three months for claiming �18,272 while working as a fitness instructor.