Housing benefit assessors jailed over £1m fraud and money laundering

Politics and Insights

JusticeSeven benefit assessors have been sentenced to prison for a total of 17 years for their roles in housing benefit fraud which saw more than £1m stolen from three councils in London.

The assessors worked in the local authorities of Lambeth, Kingston and Barking and Dagenham creating false housing benefit claims over a period of six years and sending the funds to accounts they controlled.

Lambeth employee Menelik Cowan, one of the driving forces of the fraud, and six others, denied fraud but were convicted by a jury after a three-month trial at Southwark Crown Court. They were sentenced today (18 March).

Cowan was sentenced to six-and-a-half years’ imprisonment. He had diverted £293,147 from his employers over six years. Others received between three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment and 18 months.

The gang would identify properties, collect details for false claims and create appointments for the fraudsters at the council.

They also approved…

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