Wembley football scout who ‘found’ Raheem Sterling fights benefit fraud claims
- Credit: Archant
A former football scout who claims he discovered England striker Raheem Sterling is fighting the council over allegations he is a benefit fraudster.
Peter Moring said he has been accused of taking on a lodger at his one-bedroom housing association flat in Elliot Close, Wembley, a claim he vehemently denies.
According to letters sent to Mr Moring he has been allegedly sharing his home with a woman he has never heard of.
He said: "I got letters from the council tax people accusing me of being a landlord and subletting my place and said they were cancelling my £300 living allowance.
That was eventually reinstated.
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"Then I got a letter from the benefits office saying they would pay me £174 for housing my tenant, Kalaithelvie Poobalarathanan, who I've never heard of in my life. I thought, how are they going to pay me that? They don't have my bank details.
"The council talks about tack-ling benefit fraud but when you are mixed up with it nobody wants to know. It's taken me three weeks to prove who I am. Don't these departments talk to each other?"
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The 82-year-old divorcee, who trained several sportsmen including Manchester City player Mr Sterling, who grew up in Neasden and up and coming Harlesden star Yannick Bolasi, said it took Brent Council three weeks to believe he was who he said he was and entirely innocent.
In his latest quest to clear his name he visited the council headquarters at Brent Civic Centre in Engineers Way, the last week.
"I gave them an opportunity to check up on the woman but after
I complained I got another letter saying they'd made an overpayment and, as landlord, I had to pay back the £174," he said.
"I was shocked. I never got that money in the first place, so who did? I ask them these questions and I get no answer. It's frustrating and stressful. The way Brent behaves when there's a fraud going on is disgraceful and they never even apologised."
A Brent Council spokeswoman said: "We take benefit fraud extremely seriously and will always take action against those who abuse the system.
"The very nature of fraud cases means that innocent parties may fall victim, which is something that is always regrettable.
"As the details of this particular case are still under investigation and subject to further action, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."
Are you Kalaithelvie Poobalarathanan or do you know who she is?
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