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Right To Buy fraudster sentenced

News release - 20/12/18: A man who admitted giving forged bank statements to Hillingdon Council as part of a Right To Buy application was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court on Friday 7 December.

News release: 20 December 2018

Mark Smith, aged 60, of Frays Avenue, West Drayton, was given a 12-month community order and told to perform 40 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,000 and an £85 victim surcharge.

Smith had agreed to loan a friend the £241,100 they needed to buy their council house - a practice that is allowed. However, the bank statements he presented in order to prove he had sufficient funds did not match his bank records.

At one point Smith claimed to have had more than £4.5 million in his account, when it was actually believed to contain less than £3,000. Smith admitted during interview that he didn't have the money in his account but that he would be remortgaging his house. However, there was no evidence to show that he had applied for a remortgage or enquired about doing so.

On 15 October 2018, Smith pleaded guilty to four fraud offences, all dated in July and August 2017.

Councillor Douglas Mills, Cabinet Member for Central Services, Commerce and Regeneration, said: "We have a duty to ensure that anyone planning to buy a home under the Right To Buy scheme can prove that the money is coming from a legitimate source. There were clear attempts to pull the wool over our eyes in this case - something we simply won't tolerate. Let this be a warning that we won't hesitate to prosecute anyone who abuses the system."


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