Suspended jail term for benefit fraudster from Wembley

Sakhawat Hussain admitted benefit fraud

Sakhawat Hussain admitted benefit fraud - Credit: Archant

Sakhawat Hussain, of Woodfield Avenue, failed to declare he had more than £30k in savings

A benefit cheat from Wembley who pocketed £26,048 of taxpayers’ money while having more than £30,000 in savings has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Sakhawat Hussain, of Woodfield Avenue, Wembley, claimed Housing and Council Tax Benefits from Harrow Council between June 2007 and April 2011 despite having the five-figure sum stashed away in the bank.

Anyone with more than £16,000 savings is not entitled to means-tested benefits such as Housing and Council Tax.

Brent Magistrates’ Court heard he was snared after the Government’s Housing Benefits Matching Service shared information which showed he had pocketed thousands of pounds in interest from the undeclared capital.

The 53-year-old told Harrow Council’s corporate anti-fraud team that he borrowed the money from a friend but an inspection of his bank accounts revealed he had never paid the money back.

In court he said that he did not declare the money because some of it was in his wife’s account and was not his.

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He admitted six counts of knowingly making false representations for the purposes of claiming benefit from Harrow Council.

He was handed an eight-week prison sentence for each of the six offences, suspended for two years with a six-month curfew from 10am to 4pm.

Magistrates also awarded full legal costs to the Council of £2,530 which he must pay at £50 per month from June 18.

Cllr Thaya Idaikkadar, Harrow Council leader and portfolio holder for corporate services, said: “There is no hiding place for people who lie to obtain money from public funds. It is taxpayers’ money they are stealing; money that should be used to support the borough’s most vulnerable.

“Our dedicated team of fraud officers will catch up with you - and we will prosecute every single time.”