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£millions in right to buy fraud uncovered by council

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£millions in right to buy fraud uncovered by council

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing, Legal

millions in right to buy fraud uncovered by council millions in right to buy fraud uncovered by council

Image: Fraud via Shutterstock

Barnet Council has uncovered nearly £12 million in right to buy, tenancy and benefit fraud in a 12-month period.

The London borough's anti-fraud team recovered 63 illegally sublet council properties after successful investigations and a tenancy fraud amnesty held late last year.

The recovery of each property is calculated as being worth £150,000 – the equivalent average cost of building a new social housing unit.

The team has also prevented 11 instances of people attempting to take advantage of the right to buy scheme when they were not entitled to. The scheme gives council tenants the chance to buy the property they are living in with a discount of as much as £100,000.

Investigators prosecuted those responsible for benefit fraud totalling more than £1.1m during 2013/14.

Councillor Richard Cornelius, Barnet Council's Leader, 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.”

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