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12:01 Monday 17 June 2013  Written by Anthony Organ

Former council officer jailed for illegally subletting flat

Izein Atafo
Izein Atafo

A former council housing officer has been jailed for illegally subletting a council property.

Izein Emmanuel Atafo of Lovell Road in Southall, was handed a jail sentence of two years and 10 months at Reading Crown Court on Friday.

An investigation was launched by Slough Borough Council following a tip-off that a council flat in Paget Road in Langley was being illegally sublet.

The 48-year-old was found to have been giving the keys to third parties for them to sublet the property to tenants without the council’s knowledge or permission.

The former council housing officer had been receiving payments from a lettings agent who placed tenants in the flat.

Atafo admitted fraud by abuse of position  between August 3, 2010 and May 19, 2012 at a hearing at the same court in January.

He also admitted making or supplying an article for use in fraud, namely mutual exchange documents and a copy of a passport taken from confidential housing records, between August 2 and September 28, 2010.

Jon Moores, SBC’s housing fraud investigator, said: “This case shows that no matter who you are, if you are committing housing fraud, we are determined to deal with it.

“I hope the sentence in this case warns others of the severe penalties if they get caught committing fraud.”

Cllr Sohail Munawar, commissioner for social and economic inclusion, added: “Housing fraud is never acceptable, but this case was made worse by it being a council officer who abused his position, and the trust placed in him, for his own financial gain.

“Thankfully incidents like this by staff are rare, but we continue to be vigilant.”

Atafo was immediately suspended following his arrest and was dismissed by the council after pleading guilty.

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