"Ms Akhtar was trying to hoodwink the court"
Nasreen Akhtar, aged 50, of Oldham, was jailed for two years after falsely claiming several benefits totalling £260,000.
Manchester Crown Court heard she told the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) that she was “too ill to work” and was disabled in order to claim the money.
Akhtar also claimed to be a single parent during her offences between 2002 and 2013.
However, DWP investigators received a tip-off and launched an investigation in 2012. They collected surveillance of Akhtar.
Despite her claims, Akhtar was seen out and about was filmed dancing with family members at a wedding which showed that there was nothing wrong with her. She is seen spinning around and jumping up and down.
During a police raid in 2013, officers found Akhtar’s partner in her bed.
Simon Tunnicliffe, of the CPS, said:
“This was an extremely complex benefits fraud case that went way beyond the average case.
“It has taken the CPS and the DWP three years to bring this woman to justice as, shortly after the start of her trial in 2017, she attempted, at further cost to the taxpayer, to have herself found unfit to stand trial.
“Earlier this year we brought even more compelling evidence that Ms Akhtar was trying to hoodwink the court and the judge decided that she was fit and well enough to stand trial.
“On October 7, 2019, at the pre-trial preparation hearing, in the face of a well-constructed case and overwhelming evidence, Ms Akhtar pleaded guilty to a total of seven counts of fraud against her local authority and the DWP.
“She has now been sentenced to two years in prison and Proceeds of Crime proceedings will begin to recover taxpayers’ money which is badly needed elsewhere.”
Watch the Footage that the CPS Obtained
Akhtar had claimed housing benefit and council tax relief, stating she was a single parent living in a house she rented. In actual fact, she jointly owned it with her partner.
She also claimed income support as a single parent reliant on benefit cash even though she owned other properties and had significant savings.
According to prosecutors, Akhtar had claimed disability living allowance as a person with “extremely poor mobility and significant care needs”.
She said she was “too ill to work” in order to claim employment and support allowance as a single parent.
However, she was found to have been lying when she was seen dancing at a family wedding.
Akhtar pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud against the local authority and DWP.
A spokesperson for the DWP said:
“Benefit fraud is a crime that diverts money from those who really need it.”
“In addition to any sentence imposed by the court, people must pay back all the money they falsely obtained.
“We have zero tolerance of anyone fraudulently claiming benefits and will take swift action to investigate, supporting our partners and prosecutors to bring them to justice.”
The Daily Mail reported that Nasreen Akhtar was jailed for two years on October 11, 2019.