28 November, 2016
A bpha tenant has been ordered to pay back almost £35,000 after being prosecuted for lying to obtain low cost social housing.
Omid Hashemi, of Alamein Avenue, Bedford, has also been sentenced to a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for 2 years after claiming that he, his wife and his younger brother were living in overcrowded conditions.
However, after a referral by bpha to Bedford Borough Council, it was revealed that Mr Hashemi owned a three bed house, purchased just three months before applying for housing, which he rented out for profit.
In February this year, Mr Hashemi, was prosecuted at Luton Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by false representation and was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years.
Following the conviction an application was made to seize Mr Hashemi’s assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The Court heard evidence that Mr Hashemi benefited from his crime and ordered him to pay almost £35,000, which represented all of his available assets. The amount must be paid within three months or Mr Hashemi will face nine months in prison.
George Parkinson, Head of Housing Management at bpha, said: “Tenancy fraud is a crime and takes away housing from those people who need it the most.
“We are pleased with the outcome of this case and will continue to work closely with Bedford Borough Council and other partners to ensure that suspicions are fully investigated.”
If you suspect that someone may have lied on their application for housing, may have abandoned their property, or may be subletting their home please report any suspicions to bpha in confidence on 0330 100 0272 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.