Wembley woman accused of role in £900k benefits fiddle
- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima
A Wembley woman is accused of helping a deaf couple and their children to scam £900,000 in a benefit fiddle.
Natela Babina, 30, Forty Lane, is claimed to have been recruited by Shahab Reza, 51, and his wife Shehnaz Reza, 53, during their four-year scam in which they allegedly used false invoices for sign language interpreters.
Southwark Crown Court the couple also recruited their son Abbas Reza, now a 26 year-old doctor, daughter Zainab Reza, now 22, Saifur Rahman, 31, Ahsan Naseer, 29, and Daiva Alisauskaite, 42, into the scam.
Jurors were told the money was used to fund a luxury lifestyle including a holiday to Dubai and a £600,000 penthouse.
Shahab Reza, who submitted the fake invoices to the Department of Work and Pensions through the Access to Work scheme, has admitted his role.
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His his wife and children, who claim they were ‘doing what they were told’, have denied any wrongdoing.
Prosecutor Rosina Cottage QC told jurors: “We say that the young people - Abbas Reza and Zainab Reza are intellectually able.”
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Shahab also lied to Harrow Council, netting nearly £100,000 in benefits and tax exemptions between June 2002 and August 2010.
The family is also accused of conning the NHS and the Student Loans Company, with Abbas allegedly receiving a fraudulent bursary.
Abbas, Shehnaz, and Zainab Reza, from Stanmore, each deny conspiracy to defraud.
Shehnaz Reza further denies a single count each of fraud by false representation, obtaining money transfer by deception, and dishonestly obtaining exemption from liability.
Zainab denies a further count of fraud by false representation, while Abbas denies two counts of fraud by false representation.
Babina, Naseer, from Birmingham, Alisauskaite from Hackney, and Rahman from Camden Town, each deny conspiracy to defraud the Department of Work and Pensions.