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No Benefits to crime

A Walthamstow fraudster has been sentenced to twelve months custody for money laundering and illegally claiming benefits totalling over £27,700.

Waltham Forest Magistrates Court found Salih Ozbay of Walthamstow, guilty of four charges including three benefit fraud offences and one money laundering offence, on 21 May 2015.

Investigators found that over a four year period between March 2008 until July 2012, Mr Ozbay received £25,854 in Housing Benefits and £1,879 Council Tax Benefits that he was not entitled to.

Mr Ozbay failed to declare that he was the owner of four properties for which he received a rental income, that he received student loans and grants and was the Company Secretary for two Limited Companies.

The properties Mr Ozbay claimed Housing Benefits and Council Tax Benefits on were owned by his brother’s wife, which he also failed to declare.

During the period of receiving illegal benefits, Mr Ozbay unsuccessfully applied for Discretionary Housing Payments, claiming that he was suffering severe financial hardship, and needed additional funds.

Mr Ozbay was sentenced on 19 June 2015 to 12 months in custody for each charge, effective immediately and to be served concurrently.

In sentencing Mr Ozbay, Judge Hammerton described his actions as a “brazen attempt to obtain benefits to which you were not entitled.”

The confiscation hearing will be held on 6th November 2015.

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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