A former Luton Borough Council housing officer lied about his personal circumstances to get a council house a court has heard.
Mohammed Enamul Haque, 35, of Griggs Gardens, Luton, has pleaded guilty to making a false statement in order to obtain social housing from the Council.
Luton Crown Court heard that Haque submitted an application for social housing in which he lied about his personal circumstances. He claimed he was living with relatives who were in the process of evicting him. Haque said this would mean his wife and two children would become homeless. He also stated he had only £1,000 in savings and that his only income was from working for Luton Borough Council.
However, following enquiries conducted by Bedford Borough Council’s Investigation Service, working on behalf of Luton Borough Council to identify Haque’s true circumstances, these claims were exposed as being utterly false. His family had been living in privately rented accommodation and were not in any risk of being made homeless. The investigation also discovered he held savings of over £9,000 and had received over £44,000 from Fonebank.com in the 13 months leading up to obtaining this property.
During a sentencing hearing on Friday 12 May, Haque was ordered to complete 80 hours unpaid work and pay prosecution costs of £250.
The court heard that by committing this offence Haque had taken this property from a genuinely homeless family that would have been in much more need of it and may have ended up in high cost temporary accommodation.
Patrick Odling-Smee, Service Director for housing at Luton Borough Council, said: “Whichever way you look at it this was a simple case of fraud. What made matters worse was the fact that it was committed by someone in a position of trust within the council housing system itself.
“Often people imagine there are no victims in this kind of situation. On the contrary, the victims are those who have a genuine need and right to the property that was taken by deception. In addition taxpayers’ money has been misdirected when it should have been used to help the vulnerable. The result of this case underlines the simple message - the Council will use all its powers to prosecute criminals and defend the vulnerable. The housing association will now be taking action to evict them from the house they obtained fraudulently.”
If you know someone that has obtained a property fraudulently or is subletting their council house, contact us now on 01582 546000.