Company boss jailed for fraud
by Alex Wellman A company director who fleeced council chiefs out of thousands of pounds and then left the country has been jailed after he was arrested at an airport. Aziz Jaffar, 48, of Lavender Avenue, Kingsbury, was sentenced to two y
by Alex Wellman
A company director who fleeced council chiefs out of thousands of pounds and then left the country has been jailed after he was arrested at an airport.
Aziz Jaffar, 48, of Lavender Avenue, Kingsbury, was sentenced to two years at Harrow Crown Court after he was found guilty of committing benefit fraud totalling �51, 302.04.
Jaffar, who pleaded not guilty and asked for a jury trial, was found guilty on seven charges of dishonestly obtaining housing benefit and council tax benefit from Brent Council between April 1999 to August 2004.
Records show that he had been claiming benefits since at least June 1997 on the basis that he was a married man with a wife and two dependant children.
He told the council he had a low income from a self employed business and in 1998 he reported that he had stopped working and was now in receipt of sickness benefits from the Department of Work & Pensions.
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In July 1999 Jaffar claimed to earn just �64.80 a week as managing director for Hanz Ltd., a property maintenance company which he said he worked for just 18 hours each week.
Jaffar was first interviewed by investigators from Brent Council in July 2004 but then left the country.
As part of ongoing enquiries Brent fraud investigation team found Jaffar was a signatory to Hanz Ltd's bank account and had been writing himself regular cheques ranging from �500 to thousands of pounds per month.
In his defence Mr Jaffar contested that these cheques had been salary payments but the court found this explanation unsatisfactory.
Brent Council continued to pursue him and a summons was served but he failed to attend court. A bench warrant was subsequently issued by the court and Jaffar was finally arrested in April 2007 at Heathrow Airport and remanded on conditional bail when he attempted to re-enter the UK.
Duncan McLeod, director of Finance and Corporate Resources, Brent Council, said: "The council is committed to exposing and prosecuting cases of benefit fraud and this example shows that we will not give up, even if the suspect leaves the country in an attempt to escape justice."