Council tax fraudsters prosecuted

14 June 2016

Prosecutions in council tax fraud cases have landed two South Cambridgeshire residents with fines and criminal records.

Both cases were brought to Cambridge Magistrate’s Court by South Cambridgeshire District Council.

Khalid Choudri, 56 of Manor Close, Harston was prosecuted for fraudulently claiming council tax support in his deceased mother’s name at her former address in Cottenham.

Entering a guilty plea, Mr Choudri confirmed that he had failed to notify the council that his elderly mother had died, and that he had evaded payment of £2,626.61 of council tax between April 2013 and February 2015.

In addition to already paying back the full amount owed to the council, Mr Choudri was fined £150, told to pay a victim support charge of £20 plus cover the council’s costs of £445. 

In a second case, Shajna Khanam, 33 of Orchard Close, Girton pleaded guilty to two offences of fraud after failing to notify the council of changes to her circumstances.

Mrs Khanam failed to declare that she had a maintenance loan to support her studies, but  investigations uncovered that she had received over £12,000.

The same inquiries also showed that Mrs Khanam’s husband’s income as a self-employed taxi driver had increased, but not been declared.

By not telling the council about these changes, Mrs Khanam fraudulently claimed £1428.12 between July 2013 and November 2015.

In addition to already paying back the full amount owed to the council, Mrs Khanam was fined £100 for both offences, told to pay a victim support charge of £20 and cover the council’s costs of £365.50.

Cllr Simon Edwards, South Cambridgeshire District Council cabinet member for finance, said: “It is vital that if you’re claiming benefits, you tell us about any changes to your circumstances. We’re here to help, but we don’t tolerate people who try to play the system and claim money they’re not entitled to. We do investigate claims and we do take cases to court. Don’t get yourself into that situation, we will find out and prosecute.”

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