Fake housing benefit scam raked in over £1m

Barking

A group of housing benefit assessors used dummy claimants to defrauded the taxpayer of £1 million, a court heard. Menelik Cowan, 37, and six other council workers allegedly paid the cash into bank accounts opened with false passports. Lambeth, Kingston, and Barking and Dagenham Councils were cheated out of more than £1m in the decade-long fraud which ran between 2006 and 2016, Southwark Crown Court heard. Cowan, his then girlfriend Natasha Francis, 38, his brother Hugh Small, 39, Cassandra Johnson,…

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