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Crime doesn’t pay – but criminals do

A criminal currently serving a five-year prison sentence has received further bad news after Waltham Forest Council brought a successful Proceeds of Crime prosecution that requires him to pay back £172,844.

The confiscation order secured against Calvin Stuart by the Council at Snaresbrook Crown court on 30 March 2015 also specifies that he must pay the full amount within six months or face a further two years behind bars to be added to his current sentence.

The action is the latest development in an operation spearheaded by Waltham Forest Council’s Counter Fraud Team that dates back to a raid in February 2013 at Stuart’s former address in Carnanton Road, Walthamstow.

Working in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions and local police, the Council entered the property of the father of six, uncovering documents that proved he had changed his name by deed poll in order to help perpetrate the fraud.

The raid also led to the discovery of a sawn-off shotgun, ammunition, £12,400 in cash hidden in a sofa, and a small cannabis factory in an outbuilding, all of which contributed to Stuart being convicted of possession of firearms and criminal property.

The Council’s action with regard to the benefits fraud resulted in a 20 month prison term being handed down in January 2014 after Stuart pleaded guilty to dishonestly allowing a false document to be produced for the purpose of obtaining benefit and converting criminal property.

The total Housing Benefit overpayment of £45,529 was claimed by his partner, Miranda Vassell. She was sentenced in November 2013 to 18 months in custody suspended for two years. Vassell transferred £25,256 of the Housing Benefit she received to Stuart to pay the mortgage.

Stuart had changed his name so that his partner could obtain the Housing Benefit. She also fraudulently obtained Income Support by claiming she was a single parent and paid rent to a landlord called ‘Sherief Khan’. Khan was in fact her partner Stuart, who produced a change of name deed poll to persuade the Council the tenancy was genuine.

If you suspect someone is committing any kind of fraud against the Council or the public sector, contact the Council’s Counter Fraud Group on or write to them at PO BOX 193, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Town Hall, Forest Road, London, E17 4JA. All information will be treated as confidential.

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