Officers stop fraudsters conning Barnet Borough Council out of £11.9m

Fraudsters almost con council out of £11.9m

Fraudsters almost con council out of £11.9m

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Barnet Borough Council says it has prevented housing fraud worth £11.9million in the past year.

Figures show the authority’s corporate anti-fraud team discovered millions of pounds of fraudulent activity relating to tenancies and the Government's right to buy scheme.

The team managed to recover 63 illegally sublet council houses after an investigation and a tenancy fraud ‘amnesty’ held last year.

Each house is worth £150,000 – the average cost of building a new social housing unit – giving a total figure of £9.4m.

During the same time, the team successfully prevented 11 instances of people attempting to take advantage of the Right to Buy scheme despite not being entitled to take part.

This gives tenants the chance to buy the property they are living in with a discount of £100,000, meaning the team prevented £1.1m of fraud from being committed.

A further £1.1m was also recovered in benefit fraud and those responsible were investigated and prosecuted.

Councillor Richard Cornelius, leader of Barnet Council, said: “The significant amount of fraud being detected illustrates just how important it is for the council to work as hard as possible to protect the public purse.

“Nowadays it is more important than ever that money goes into providing services and not to those intent on cheating the system.

“I am sure this sends out a very clear message to anyone committing or contemplating fraud, that you will be caught.”

Comments (5)

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1:00pm Wed 6 Aug 14

AverageBarnetResident says...

Great news. It's about time someone got to grips with social housing issues in Barnet. The system has been abused for far too long.
Well done to Cornelius and the boy Tom Davey!
Great news. It's about time someone got to grips with social housing issues in Barnet. The system has been abused for far too long. Well done to Cornelius and the boy Tom Davey! AverageBarnetResident
  • Score: -7

3:55pm Wed 6 Aug 14

harvey_uk says...

63 recovered by this team, presumably more than one person in the team, thats a little over 5 cases a month, ie one per week. Surely there's much more to be done and this team should be pushed to delivery greater results.
63 recovered by this team, presumably more than one person in the team, thats a little over 5 cases a month, ie one per week. Surely there's much more to be done and this team should be pushed to delivery greater results. harvey_uk
  • Score: 4

10:47pm Wed 6 Aug 14

zipposz says...

Does that include the chap at Hendon Town..?
Does that include the chap at Hendon Town..? zipposz
  • Score: 2

11:27am Thu 7 Aug 14

Rog T says...

Tom Davey will be chuffed to be endorsed by such an average person who has absolutely no association at all with the Leadership of the local Conservative party in Barnet. It is great that average Barnet residents are so impressed with Mr Davey and are inspired to leave such comments I mean it would be so sad if they were simply planted by local Tories to make themselves look as if they are doing a good job. Its funny isnt it how such ordinary residents feel the need to post under a pseudoname
Tom Davey will be chuffed to be endorsed by such an average person who has absolutely no association at all with the Leadership of the local Conservative party in Barnet. It is great that average Barnet residents are so impressed with Mr Davey and are inspired to leave such comments I mean it would be so sad if they were simply planted by local Tories to make themselves look as if they are doing a good job. Its funny isnt it how such ordinary residents feel the need to post under a pseudoname Rog T
  • Score: 6

11:54am Thu 7 Aug 14

AverageBarnetResident says...

Just because I agree with this policy of cracking down on fraudsters, does not make me some kin dof political "plant". This is not Mission Impossible Rog. It's the Hendon Times.

Get a grip man.
Just because I agree with this policy of cracking down on fraudsters, does not make me some kin dof political "plant". This is not Mission Impossible Rog. It's the Hendon Times. Get a grip man. AverageBarnetResident
  • Score: -5

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