Further details have emerged of the allegations of housing fraud against Muhammad Harun and that as a Councillor he was a member of the Housing Scrutiny Committee which covers housing fraud.
If you are a Tower Hamlets Labour Party supporter who asked residents to vote for a Labour council that would put the corruption of the Rahman years behind us then look away now.
Or hang your heads in shame. We ain’t bovvered which.
It seems that the allegations against Mohammad Harun are social housing fraud subject to the Prevention Of Social Housing Fraud act 2013 (POSHFA) and also Section 3 of the Fraud Act 2006.
The Fraud Act covers instances where ‘a person is in breach if he dishonestly fails to disclose to another person information which he is under a legal duty to disclose, and intends, by failing to disclose the information to make a gain for himself or another, or to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk or loss.’
There is also the possibility that, if found guilty, Harun will also be subject to an order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Cllr. Andrew Wood, Leader of the Tower Hamlets Conservative Group and councillor for Canary Wharf, has provided the press (and us) with more details of the allegations against Muhammad Harun, who has resigned as the Labour councillor for Lansbury ward.
According to Cllr. Wood it is alleged that Muhammad Harun owned two properties at the same time that he lived in social housing within Tower Hamlets. One of the properties he bought in Barking in 2007, another in Tower Hamlets in 2013. One of these two properties may have been bought with a Right To Buy discount.
Between 2011 and 2017/18 it is alleged that Harun lived in a social housing property which means he would have lied on his application form – you cannot bid for social housing if you own private property.
Victims are those on housing waiting list
“The victims in these cases are residents on the housing waiting list and in temporary accommodation who might have lived in the property illegally occupied by Harun,” says Cllr Wood.
But it gets better. Or worse depending on your point of view.
As a councillor, Muhammad Harun was Chair of the Councils Pensions Committee which manages the investment decisions of about £1.56 billion of pension assets.
He was also Vice Chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Housing Scrutiny Committee, both of which are responsible for overseeing issues related to, you guessed it, housing fraud. You can see his Register of Interests here.
LW assumes that Harun was appointed to both these positions by Mayor John Biggs.
Any questions about housing fraud, councillors?
At the 20th November meeting of the Housing Scrutiny Committee, there was a report about Social Housing Fraud which Cllr Harun attended and he was able to ask questions about the work being done in this area.
Cllr. Wood is of the opinion that Harun should now be prosecuted and required to pay back to the people of Tower Hamlets the financial benefits of any crimes of which he is found guilty. As a solicitor, currently employed by Duncan Lewis Solicitors, he would have known the law and so should also be banned from practising as a solicitor as was Lutfur Rahman.
LW’s understanding is that the Tower Hamlets Conservative Group will be calling for an investigation into the housing situation of every Councillor. This would not just look at whether they have ever lived in social housing but that they live where they say they live. This issue has been raised in most recent elections in the borough.
There are more details to come about Labour councillors activities that do not appear on their election leaflets. Stay tuned to LW, we just need to pop out and do a bit of Christmas shopping then will get cracking on that story!
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