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Council tenant fined thousands for subletting his property

FineTags Adults , Council , Residents

An investigation by Barking and Dagenham Council’s fraud investigators has resulted in a man, now living in Leeds, pleading guilty to subletting his council property.
 
In January 2020, council officers received information that Mr Jonathan Green was not living at his two-bedroom flat at Colne House, Barking which he obtained in 2019.
 
Initial enquiries from council officers quickly established Green’s links to West Yorkshire and it soon came to light that he had unlawfully secured alternative accommodation with Wakefield District Council. 
 
Council officers finally tracked down Mr Green and, and in an interview, under caution, he admitted that he had never moved into Colne House. 
 
The case went to Barkingside Magistrates Court on Tuesday 18 January 2022 where Mr Green pleaded guilty to one offence under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 and two offences under the Fraud Act 2006.
 
He was sentenced to a 12-month Community Order of 200 hours of unpaid work, given a £2,800 unlawful profit order, ordered to pay costs of £800 to Barking and Dagenham Council and a £95 Victim Surcharge, totalling £3,695.
 
The order represented the profit Green made from subletting the flat and the council is now continuing with steps to recover possession of the Colne House property. 
 
Councillor Dominic Twomey, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Finance, Performance and Core Services said: “Council housing stock is in short supply, it is not a right and we have people and families that really need support from us to provide them with a home.  
 
“This individual’s actions have not only prevented someone else from having a home to live in, but he has also illegally earned money out of it. This is something that we take very seriously and if we find out someone is doing it; we will find them and take appropriate action – no matter how long it takes’’. 
 
Barking and Dagenham Council has a dedicated team that investigate all types of fraud and if residents would like to find out more or report anything, they can email www.lbbd.gov.uk/reporting-fraud  or call 020 8227 2666.

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