A benefit claimant who falsified multiple benefit claims against Barnet and Haringey Councils has been jailed for more than three years.
On 11 September at Wood Green Crown Court, Ali Moradifard, 39, from Pinnacles Close, Stanmore in Middlesex was found guilty of one count of dishonestly making a false application for benefit under the Social Security Administration Act 1992 and nine counts of Fraud by False Representation under the Fraud Act 2006.
In a five-week trial, the court heard that all the fraudulent benefit claims related to housing benefit claims against London Boroughs of Barnet and Haringey.
The fraud investigation into claims made by Moradifard had begun in 2010, when suspicions were raised by Barnet Council’s benefits team that numerous housing benefit claim forms had been completed in very similar handwriting and using a forged identity document.
Barnet’s Corporate Anti-Fraud Team discovered that forms using six different aliases from numerous addresses in Barnet and Haringey contained mobile telephone numbers later found to be used by Moradifard – and the identity documents used to make claims were also forged.
Benefit fraud investigators found that several addresses Moradifard made claims for were from flats within the same or neighbouring buildings – but although Moradifard was linked in various ways to each of these addresses, none of the claimants had ever lived at the addresses.
Instead, Moradifard had submitted false tenancy agreements to support the claims – and on some of the forms, Moradifard had even named himself as the claimant’s employer.
The court also heard that Moradifard had provided forged letters from the Home Office stating the claimants had been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK – and, as a result, had access to public funds, including benefits.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – which led to a joint investigation following a raid of Moradifard’s home address – uncovered numerous documents in various identities, including tenancy agreements, driving licences, bank cards and bank statements.
DWP investigators also found a “template” used for forging Home Office letters when Moradifard was arrested at his home in 2014.
The template became the key piece of evidence in proving the benefit fraud offences against Barnet and Haringey.
Moradifard was sentenced to three years and nine months in jail for benefit fraud. Barnet’s financial investigators are now seeking confiscation proceedings in order to recover the sum of £80.726.
After sentencing, Deputy Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Daniel Thomas, said:
“This was a calculated crime aimed at defrauding the taxpayer over a number of years.
“Mr Moradifard ruthlessly attempted to exploit the benefits system for his own means – but he was tripped up by his own greed.
“It is vital that people are honest and open about their circumstances when applying for benefit.”
Duncan Lewis Benefit Fraud Solicitors
Duncan Lewis benefit fraud solicitors can advise at any stage of a charge involving benefit fraud, including fraudulent claims relating to:
• Bedroom Tax
• Blue Badge fraud
• Child Tax Credits
• Council Tax fraud
• Disability Living Allowance
• Housing Benefit
• Income Support
• Jobseeker’s Allowance
• Pension Credits
• Universal Credit
• Working Tax Credits.
There are Duncan Lewis offices nationwide – and Duncan Lewis is a leading provider of Legal Aid services.
For expert legal advice on all benefit fraud charges, call Duncan Lewis benefit fraud solicitors on 020 7923 4020.