Suspended prison sentence for Wembley woman who took part in £800k benefits scam

A Wembley woman who submitted fake invoices for sign language interpreters as part of a £800,000 disability allowance scam has walked free from court.

Natela Babina, of Forty Lane, pocketed £9,500 over a period of 23 months for her role in the benefits fraud.

Southwark Crown Court heard the 30-year-old took part in the swindle involving Shahab Reza, 52, from Perivale, his wife Shehnaz, 53, and their children Dr Abbas Reza and Zainab Reza.

Shahab Reza, who is deaf, used the cash to fund a lavish lifestyle of holidays across the globe and jewellery.

His wife and children admitted the scam took place but insisted they were ‘doing what they were told’.

Yesterday the court heard that Reza’s wife and children have since ‘rejected’ him and he had ‘literally lost everything’.

His lawyer Rag Chand said: “He can’t communicate with anybody. He doesn’t communicate with anybody.

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“He is the only person in his prison with this disability.

“Greed got the better of this defendant and in my respectful submission that greed may have been more to do with pleasing others around him than necessarily his personal greed.”

Babina and Daiva Alisauskaite, 43, who also submitted fake invoices, were handed 12-month prison sentences, suspended for 18 months each.

Both were previously convicted of conspiracy to defraud the Department of Work and Pensions.

Reza was jailed for nine years after previously admitting conspiracy to defraud, two counts of obtaining money transfer by deception, two counts of dishonestly obtaining exemption from liability, and three counts of fraud by false representation.

A jury had failed to reach verdicts against Zainab, Shehnaz and Abbas last December and they now face a retrial in September.