Ealing Housing Benefit Fraudsters Jailed

Two men illegally claimed over 25,000 they weren't entitled to

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Two men have been sent to prison for fraudulently claiming thousands of pounds in housing benefits.

Taha Hussein, 33, was sentenced to eight weeks imprisonment for failing to tell Ealing Council he was a student and receiving student benefits as well as holding undeclared bank accounts. As a result he was overpaid more than £11,000 in housing benefits from 31 October 2006 to 6 July 2008.

In a separate case, Saeid Eskandari, 37, was jailed for six weeks for claiming housing benefits that he knew he was not entitled to. Returned post from the Southdown Avenue, Hanwelll address, where he no longer lived, sparked an investigation by the council’s fraud team which revealed he had dishonestly claimed more than £14,800 in benefits over 17 months from October 2010 to March 2012.

Both men pleaded guilty and were sentenced at Ealing Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 17 July 2014.

The council is seeking to recover all money overpaid to both Mr Hussein and Mr Eskandari.

Councillor Yvonne Johnson, cabinet member for finance and performance, said: “During the course of these claims both defendants were informed of their duty to notify the council of any changes in their circumstances.

“Dishonestly failing to report changes in order to keep receiving benefit payments is a serious crime which takes money away from people who genuinely need it.”

Changes in circumstances which may impact housing benefits or council tax payments must be reported to the council immediately. Visit the housing benefit and council tax support page for information on how to notify the council of these changes.

Anyone with information about suspected benefit fraud should call the council’s 24-hour fraud hotline on 0800 328 6453, where they can provide information anonymously. Alternatively, people can report fraud by emailing fraudreferrals@ealing.gov.uk.


28th July 2014