LBW

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Fraudulent Southwark Tenant Jailed!

A former Southwark tenant is facing five months in prison after been found guilty of obtaining a council home fraudulently.



This is the latest housing fraud case to be uncovered as part of the ongoing Operation Bronze, Southwark Council's initiative to combat housing fraud, and will be the 22nd prosecution and 35th property to be recovered by the council as part of this project.

Overall the council has recovered 700 illegally sub-let properties over the last two years.

Mr Isaac Fordjour, 39, pleaded guilty to obtaining services by deception on 7 July 2014 at Woolwich Crown Court. He was then sentenced to five months imprisonment on 11 August 2014 by HH Judge Heathcote-Williams at Woolwich Crown Court. Charges for using false documentation were ordered to remain on file.

The crime, which was uncovered by Southwark Council's fraud team, dates back to April 2003 when Mr Fordjour made a homeless application to the council complete with Home Office documentation to confirm his right to reside in the UK.

As a result of the application, Mr Fordjour was offered a two bedroom property in Crawford Road, Camberwell which he moved into in June 2003.

Operation Bronze started based on the review of datasets from the Audit Commission's National Fraud Initiative (NFI) and the Metropolitan Police Operation Amberhill. The project subsequently identified that Mr Fordjour's Home Office documents were false and that Mr Fordjour was not entitled to council housing at the time.

Southwark Council is currently taking action to recover the property.

Councillor Fiona Colley, cabinet member for Finance, Strategy and Performance: "With an approximately 20,000 people on our housing waiting lists we cannot afford for any to be lost to fraudulent applicants. We will continue to use everything in our power to ensure homes go to the deserving and penalise anyone found defrauding the council."

Operation Bronze was set up in 2011 and Mr Fordjour is the 24 person to be convicted as part of the campaign.

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