Pensioner Found Guilty of Housing Benefit Fraud
Southall man illegally claimed more than twenty thousand pounds
A 73-year-old pensioner has been sentenced for fraudulently collecting thousands of pounds under a housing benefit claim after failing to notify Ealing Council of changes in their circumstances.
Taroo Singh Purewal, also known as Taroo Singh, of Lady Margaret Road, Southall, received a total of £23,024 which he was not entitled to over a period spanning more than six years. He was given a six months sentence suspended for 18 months at Harrow Crown Court on Monday, 23 March and was also ordered to pay a contribution of £200 towards the council’s court costs as well as a surcharge of £80.
Purewal was the resident landlord when a claim for housing benefit was made by an elderly tenant in January 1995 and the associated rent payments went directly in to his bank account.
The tenant was moved to a care home in May 2006 after a hospital stay but the council was not notified of this change of address. Purewal deceitfully continued to collect rent payments.
Ian O’Donnell, the council’s executive director for corporate resources, said: “Mr Purewal chose to flout the law, taking money away from those who are in genuine need. He should have declared a change in circumstances immediately but decided not to and behaved dishonestly over a prolonged period resulting in the strong action we have taken against him.
“I hope this case will serve as an example to others that attempts to cheat the system will be found out and brought before the courts for justice to be served."
Purewal received thousands of pounds he was not entitled to over the period May 2006 to September 2012. He was prosecuted for the offence of dishonestly failing to notify of a change in circumstances under the Social Security Administration Act 1992.
The council has already started civil proceedings to recover the overpaid amount of £23,024.
31st March 2015