Former Tower Hamlet Labour Party councillor Muhammad Harun was sentenced to 16 months in custody at Snaresbrook Crown Court today after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud.
The prison sentence is in addition to the sum of £124,679.94 compensation paid by Harun to the council for providing him and his family with temporary accommodation when he was not entitled to it.
Ignored legal duty
The Council brought charges relating to Mr Harun’s failure to carry out his legal duty to disclose relevant facts in relation to his application for housing after a tip-off to the Council’s housing fraud team.
Harun had made an application for housing in January 2006 from his mother’s property at Solander Gardens, E1.
After being evicted from the property at Solander Gardens, he was housed in temporary accommodation from January 2006 to July 2010.
He was then given a permanent three bedroom home at Grundy Street, E14.
On July 19 2007 he purchased a property at Lancaster Avenue in Barking, IG11.
After being housed in temporary accommodation from January 2006 to July 2010, he was given a permanent 3-bedroom home at Grundy Street, E14.
He purchased the property at Solander Gardens in August 2013.
He, like all councillors, had an ongoing duty to disclose his change of circumstances but he failed to do.
Know about housing fraud?
Anyone who has information that a council property may be illegally sublet or suspects housing fraud, can contact the dedicated housing fraud team on 0800 528 0294 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Another Tower Hamlets Labour Party councillor banged up for property fraud.
The only question is who will be the next councillor to be jailed and for what crimes? Maybe next time it won’t be just one but several.
There seems to be a group of people in our borough for whom Muhammad Harun’s behaviour is acceptable. His fraud took place over many years and friends and associates must have known what he was up to but chose to either look the other way or actively endorse his behaviour.
This group is not defined by colour, race or belief but by their readiness to adopt the corrupt behaviour of others without any concern for anyone but themselves.
They see other people getting away with corruption and decide to join in. Most if not all do not even consider they have done anything wrong.
In any other part of the UK the fact that the local Labour Party considered someone like Muhammad Harun to be of suitable moral standing to be a representative of the people would be shocking.
Not round here it isn’t.
The sooner the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government take full – and permanent – control of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets the better.