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'Rented' flat benefit cheat was living with his mother

Falak Hossain, 47, said he had lived alone since 2006 and wasn't related to his landlord.

Court: Hossain last month admitted pled guilty last month to claiming £32,377 housing benefit between May 2006 and September 2014, that he wasn't entitled to.
Court: Hossain last month admitted pled guilty last month to claiming £32,377 housing benefit between May 2006 and September 2014, that he wasn't entitled to.

A benefit cheat who claimed more than £32,000 in housing welfare for a flat he said he rented when he was actually living with his mother has been jailed for 18 months.

Falak Hossain, 47, told Glasgow City Council he lived alone since 2006 and that he wasn't related to his landlord.

He filled in more than 20 forms in relation to his benefit including some with changes of circumstances but failed to say it was his mum's house he was living in.

Hossain was interviewed in 2014 and continued to deny his crime until faced with the Land Registry certificate.

He then said the landlord, who he claimed was a woman named Ashrafi Begum, was in fact his mum, Asha Hossain.

Hossain pled guilty last month to claiming £32,377 housing benefit between May 2006 and September 2014, that he wasn't entitled to.

He also admitted failing to appear at court in October 2016.

Sheriff Alan Mackenzie sentenced him to a total of 18 months for both offences.

The court heard Hossain applied for housing benefit in 2006 for his flat in Cathcart, Glasgow and claimed he was the sole tenant.

He told authorities his landlord was Miss Begum and that they were not related to one another.

Procurator fiscal depute Richard Hill said: "Over the period on of the charge, Hossain completed six further housing benefit claim forms.

"On each of these forms he again stated his landlord was Ashrafi Begum and that she was no relation to him.

"In addition to these, he completed 15 forms notifying authorities of a change of circumstances.

"On none of these forms did he notify that in fact his mother was his landlord and that she resided with him."

The matter came to the attention of Glasgow City Council and he was interviewed about his situation.

During his interview in October 2014 he agreed he had completed the relevant forms and continued to say his landlord was Miss Begum and lived in London.

He said his mum, Mrs Hossain, lived in Bangladesh.

Mr Hill added: "He maintained this over the initial period of the interview, however, when presented with the Land Registry certificate he conceded that Miss Begum and Mrs Hossain were the same person."

He said he didn't use the money to pay rent but to buy food and claimed he gave his mother some of it.

Defence lawyer John Kilcoyne said when Hossain was bailed after his court appearance in December 2015 he moved to London and "dug his head in the sand".

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