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Bail for 4 arrested in alleged £18m housing fraud in Brighton

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Bail for 4 arrested in alleged £18m housing fraud in Brighton

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government

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As investigations continue into allegations of fraud at Brighton and Hove City Council’s housing department, Sussex Police says it has released on bail four men who were arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office and corruption.

The website brightonandhovenews.org named one of those arrested as Ashley Parker, who it said is the brother of the council’s suspended head of housing Jugal Sharma. The website also reported that the 51-year-old Parker is a director of KEM Property Services which it said "housed homeless people at short notice under a premium-priced 10-year contract with the council".

Brighton and Hove City Council chief executive Penny Thompson said: "We take allegations of misconduct in public office very seriously. Following an investigation by our internal audit team we notified police and we are co-operating fully with the police investigation. A disciplinary investigation is continuing."

Sussex Police said the investigation was launched by its economic crime unit in November 2013 following an initial investigation by the council's own internal audit team. It is looking into allegations of the improper awarding of council contracts worth more than £18 million over the past 10 years to a property management company providing the homeless with temporary accommodation.

The police said the four men were arrested on Wednesday and later the same day bailed until October while investigations continue. None of the men arrested are council employees.

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