Social Housing Cheat
Social Housing Cheat Made to Pay £35,000
Local resident Omid Hashemi, of Alamein
Avenue, Bedford, has been ordered to pay back almost £35,000 after
being prosecuted for lying to obtain low cost social housing. Mr
Hashemi was also sentenced to a 12 month prison sentence, suspended
for 2 years.
Mr Hashemi was housed in social housing by
bpha after claiming that he, his wife and his younger brother were
living in overcrowded conditions.
However, an investigation by Bedford Borough
Council revealed that Mr Hashemi owned a three bed house, purchased
just 3 months before applying for housing, which he rented out for
In February this year, Mr Hashemi, was
prosecuted at Luton Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to 3 counts
of fraud by false representation and was sentenced to 12 months in
prison, suspended for 2 years.
Following the conviction, joint working by
Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Councils enabled an
application to be made to seize Mr Hashemi’s assets under the
Proceeds of Crime Act. The Court heard evidence that Mr Hashemi
benefited from his crime and ordered him to pay almost £35,000,
which represented all of his available assets. The amount must be
paid within 3 months or Mr Hashemi will face 9 months in
Portfolio Holder for Finance, Councillor
Michael Headley, said: 'There are families across the Borough who
genuinely need a place to call home and those who commit tenancy
fraud take these homes from those most in need.'
'As well as disadvantaging other members of our community, tenancy
fraud also increases pressure on other services at a time when
Bedford Borough Council faces continued cuts in funding.'
If you suspect that someone may have lied on
their application for housing, may have abandoned their property,
or may be subletting their home please contact the Investigations
Team by emailing Fraud@bedford.gov.uk and
reporting your concerns, all calls/information provided will be
handled in the strictest confidence.
You can also confidentially report Tenancy
Fraud to the Council:
By calling Freephone number 0800 917 8491
By visiting the Council’s Customer Care centre in Horne
By filling in a form online at http://www.bedford.gov.uk/
You can also report any suspicions to bpha in confidence on 0330
100 0272 or email firstname.lastname@example.org