the team has saved more than £6 million catching fraudsters.
Fraudster Chandra Jethwa was convicted after he forged his dead mother’s signature in order to buy her council home.
He was one of many fraudsters uncovered by Waltham Forest Council.
Jethwa was investigated by the council’s corporate anti-fraud team after he attempted to buy his dead mother’s council house on Walthamstow’s Priory Court Estate through the Right to Buy scheme.
Jethwa was aware that he was not entitled to buy her home and so he forged her signature on documents in an attempt to hide her death from council staff.
However, an investigator from the fraud team found her death certificate during routine checks.
They subsequently took Jethwa to court.
He received a criminal conviction and the home was returned to the council. It was then able to house a homeless family.
As well as Jethwa, the team has saved more than £6 million catching fraudsters.
In addition, they have also investigated the council itself 33 times between April 2019 and March 2020.
These investigations resulted in a former IT contractor employed by the council being jailed for five years and five staff members either resigning or being sacked.
IT contractor Graham Broomfield was able to access funds that were meant for vulnerable people to live on.
Over a period of 18 months, the fraudster obtained over £550,000 from at least 95 disabled or at-risk people.
In total, the team found 32 cases where people had given false information while applying for Right to Buy council houses and prevented the sales from going ahead.
The council also secured its first two unlawful profit orders against council tenants, recovering more than £7,000 from men who illegally sublet their council properties.
Councillor Liaquat Ali represents Labour for High Street Ward in Waltham Forest. He is also responsible for transformation and commercial operations. He said:
“It is vital that we as a council are careful guardians of taxpayer money and take every step to keep the public purse protected from fraud or bribery.
“The anti-fraud team works diligently to investigate any allegations against staff and contractors, as well as instances of suspected housing or Blue Badge fraud.
“I am very proud of their work and would like to take this opportunity to put on record my thanks, and I hope residents will join me.”
Fraud can be reported to the anti-fraud team by calling 0300 003 1099, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or via the online referral form.