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Fraud and prosecutions, Housing

Essex man guilty of fraud over attempt to buy Lambeth council house

A 60 year old man has pleaded guilty to fraud in relation to an attempt to purchase a Lambeth council property under Right to Buy legislation.

Dr Enamuna Enobakhare, applied to purchase a property on Phil Brown Place on the Heath Road Estate under the Right to Buy scheme, when he was not even living in London. Had the sale gone through, he would have netted a discount on the purchase price of the property of £100,000.

The case was referred to Lambeth Council’s  Fraud Team as there were concerns that Enobakhare was subletting the property. They established that he was actually living in  Romford at a property owned by his wife, was registered to vote there and was also registered there with the NHS, insurance companies, various government agencies and his employer.

Enobakhare claimed he was living at Phil Brown Place and was therefore entitled to purchase it as a discount under the Right to Buy scheme.

However,  interviewed under caution by Lambeth officers, the weight of evidence against him led to his right to buy claim being refused and he was ordered by the courts to give up the Lambeth tenancy.

Enobakhare was charged with fraud by false representation in relation to the Right To Buy, in that Phil Brown Place was not his only or principal home, and with fraud by failing to disclose to Lambeth Council the fact that he was not living there.

Cllr Matthew Bennett, Cabinet member for Housing said: “This is another excellent example of the work of Lambeth’s Fraud Team  and underlines the council’s commitment to come down hard on cheats and frauds.

“This property could have been used to house a family, not to line the pockets of a crook like Enobakhare. Not content with making money out of subletting the property illegally, he wanted to get £100,000 discount on buying the house. I hope this send a very clear message to people who think they can get away with this sort of appalling behaviour.”

In court, Enobakhare admitted failing to disclose to the Council that he was not living at Phil Brown Place and at Blackfriars Crown Court on 6th February he was sentenced to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £3,000 and a victim surcharge of £60. This is in addition to the £7,321 costs awarded against him when the courts ordered that he should surrender possession of his tenancy.

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