Wembley woman convicted of role in £900k benefits fiddle
A Wembley woman has been convicted of helping a deaf couple and their children to scam £900,000 in a benefit fiddle.
Natela Babina, 30, Forty Lane, was 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, 26, now a doctor, daughter Zainab Reza, now 22, Saifur Rahman, 31, Ahsan Naseer, 29, and Daiva Alisauskaite, 42.
Rahman, Naseer, Babina and Alisauskaite admitted signing the bogus forms but said they ‘did not knew there was anything dishonest’ about it.
Jurors were told the money was used to fund a luxury lifestyle including a holiday to Dubai and a £600,000 penthouse.
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Shahab Reza, who submitted the fake invoices to the Department of Work and Pensions through the Access to Work scheme, admitted his role.
His wife and children, who claim they were ‘doing what they were told’, denied any wrongdoing.
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Babina and Alisaskaite were found guilty of fraud by false representation and today Shehnaz was found guilty of fraud by false representation, obtaining money transfer by deception, and dishonestly obtaining exemption from paying council tax.
Abbas was convicted of one count of fraud by false representation but the jury were unable to reach verdicts in respect of Zainab.
The jury also could not agree on whether Shehnaz and her children were guilty of conspiracy to defraud.
They failed to reach a verdict for Zainab who faced a further charge of failing to disclose her financial position to the Student Loans Company.
Rahman was cleared of a single charge of fraud by false representation and the jury failed to return a verdict for Naseer for the same charge
Sentencing will take place on February 9.
Related link: Wembley woman accused of role in £900k benefits fiddle