Man found guilty of false homeless claim

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A man who falsely claimed he was to become homeless to Crawley Borough Council has been convicted, the council has said.

Imran Malik presented himself as homeless despite having a tenancy in Croydon where he was also claiming benefits, a council spokesman said.

The 39-year-old was found guilty of three offences at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on Friday (July 29).

A spokesman for the council said: “Mr Malik did not attend court and the case was heard and proven in his absence. He was found guilty of three offences under the Housing Act 1996:

- On 6 January 2016 making a false statement on a housing options form stating he was living in the Crawley area

- Withholding the fact he was already living in Croydon on 6 January 2016

- Making a false statement on 8 January 2016 stating he was living in overcrowded conditions in Crawley.

“He was fined £1,500 for each offence, totalling £4,500, ordered to pay the council’s costs of £1,729, and a victim surcharge of £120.”

Stephen Joyce, cabinet member for housing at Crawley Borough Council, said: “It is totally unacceptable for anyone to lie about being homeless to try and gain assistance from the council.”

Based at the Town Hall, the Corporate Investigation Team works with other services to prevent, detect and investigate all types of fraud committed against the council.

Anyone who thinks they know someone who is committing fraud can call the council free and in confidence 24 hours a day on 0800 634 0180 or email investigations@crawley.gov.uk

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