Video: ‘Disabled’ Kilburn wedding dancer jailed as serial fraudster
Watch the video below to learn about Mohamed Bouzalim, an illegal immigrant who lied about being disabled and a tortured Afghan refugee.
The serial fraudster illegally claimed almost �400,000 in benefits and has been sentenced to nearly seven years in prison.
The 37-year-old Moroccan national admitted to dishonestly entering the country and exploiting the welfare system.
Sentencing him at Isleworth Crown Court, Judge Simon Oliver said Bouzalim has committed fraud on “a grand scale” over nine years and was unscrupulous and manipulative.
He said Bouzalim claimed to be an Afghani refugee whose father was killed by the Taliban and he was tortured, to gain the sympathies of immigration authorities.
This lie, he said, started “the spiral of deceit”.
“He is a man in my mind who is completely unscrupulous. He is a man who used his family to benefit him,” said the judge.
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Crown Prosecutor Lyall Thompson told the court Bouzalim had sat in his bed shaking and pretending to be unable to walk when a social services worker from Camden Council visited, but soon after the assessor left, police witnessed him walking out of the house.
Mr Thompson said a video of Bouzalim dancing at his wedding and the fact he passed a driving test in an unadapted car was proof his disability was a hoax.
He said Bouzalim also duped three UK universities into believing he was a Belgian national so he was eligible for discounted fees given to EU citizens.
The benefits fraud ended when UK Border Agency staff raided his home in Kilburn, north London, last year.
Bouzalim’s siblings, Rachid, 35, Abdallah, 39, and Zahra, 41, were given 12 month suspended sentences for assisting him.
The judge said the deceit affected people on the public housing waiting list.
He said Camden Council had a ground-floor flat adapted for Bouzalim.
“While you were telling Camden that you were in need of support you were busy being educated at London Metropolitan University,” he said.
He sentenced Bouzalim to a total of six years and 11 months.
A Home Office spokesman said: “The UK Border Agency will be seeking to strip Mohamed Bouzalim of his British citizenship and then take steps to deport him from the UK once he has served his sentence.”