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Luton Borough Council

28/09/2023 - Council tax fraudster convicted

A man from Luton has pleaded guilty to an offence under Council Tax Fraud, following an investigation by Hertfordshire Shared Anti-Fraud Service.

On Friday 22 September 2023, Mohammed Hussain (45) of Kestrel Way, Luton, entered a guilty plea at Luton Magistrates court to one offence of failing to notify a change of circumstances, an offence under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

The court heard that the investigation conducted by the Shared Anti-Fraud Service identified that between 2015 and 2020, Hussain, whose partner was claiming Council Tax Reduction, failed to declare that he owned another property and was receiving regular income from this asset. Hussain also failed to declare that he held money in a number of bank accounts.

The failure to report these facts to Luton Borough Council resulted in reduction of £3,718 from his council tax bills between 2015 and 2020, a sum he would not have received had it not been for his failure to declare his correct circumstances.

The Magistrates noted that they had reduced the sentence for Hussain as he had assisted with the investigation, begun repaying the money he owed the Council and had entered a guilty plea at the first opportunity.

Hussain was ordered to pay to a fine of £500, prosecution costs of £5,741.20 and a victim surcharge of £50.

Luton Borough council will seek to recover the value of £3,718 from Hussain.

Councillor Rob Roche, portfolio holder for Finance, Revenue and Benefits, “People think that defrauding the council is a victimless crime that doesn’t matter. It does.

“Not only is such activity illegal, but the real victims are decent residents who respect the rules and don’t try to deceive the authorities.

“By claiming money he was not entitled to this individual stole from those who deserved it and time, effort and resources employed in bringing him to justice were spent. To use tax payers’ money on unveiling this sort of deceit, when it could be used on the needy of the town, will unfortunately always be necessary, unless people are honest and take their civic duty seriously.

“As always I would like to thank the hard work of the Shared Anti Fraud Service that has once again underlined our resolve to do all we can to care for the public purse.”

Luton Council remains committed to investigating and prosecuting offences of fraud. The Shared Anti-Fraud service works in partnership with Luton Council to investigate and prosecute any person found to be committing criminal offences against the Authority.

You can report suspected fraud against Luton Council in the strictest confidence. For more information, and to report your concerns to the Shared Anti-Fraud service or email [email protected] or call 0300 123 4033.
© 2024 Luton Council, Town Hall, Luton LU1 2BQ