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Council housing officer handed suspended prison sentence for social housing fraud

A housing officer who manipulated the system with insider knowledge in a bid to be placed in social housing has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Rajesh Kumar Rattu, 34, lied on forms stating he had never held a social housing tenancy and had lived in the borough of Slough for five years before making an application in 2017.

He provided a letter supposedly from his mother confirming his residency status but it turned out to be a forgery which he had signed himself.

Rattu made two further declarations confirming the false information as correct as he waited to receive social housing.

In the meantime, the housing officer, who had worked for Slough Borough Council for 15 years, had moved in with his girlfriend in Waterbeach Road, Manor Park, and had transferred his car insurance to the property.

But enquiries over his application revealed he previously held a housing association tenancy for a property in Datchet until April 2014 and had gone onto live at another address in the Royal Borough until June that year.

He then moved back to his family’s home in St Andrews Way, Cippenham.

Rattu admitted four counts of fraud relating to the original housing application, the forged letter and two annual renewals and was sentenced at Reading Magistrates’ Court on December 6.

The magistrates said the offences were a ‘huge breach of trust’ as it was clear he had taken advantage of the system and planned the offences with inside information.

He was handed a six-month prison sentence, suspended for one year, and told to pay £1615 costs and complete 180 hours of community service.

The council asked the court for Rattu to cover the authority’s full legal costs of £3021.20.

But this was halved due to his unemployment status since resigning from his role.

Richard West, interim director of place and development, said: “The magistrates said that the manipulation of the system could have had consequences for other residents in the borough.

“The fraud could have caused considerable harm to someone else who would have missed out on the opportunity to be adequately housed.”

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  • be_ transparent

    17:32, 12 December 2019

    This isn't the first housing officer from Slough Council to find themselves in court, and I doubt it will be the last either. What no-one ever talks about is when there is corruption inside Slough Council with a particular individual, isn't it a bit naive to assume that this one act is the only corrupt thing they have done ? What else did they get up to ?

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    • Londoner

      02:07, 31 December 2019

      Well for me he is the most memorable one for this year. I had put in a complaint SBC and next thing Mr Rattu wrote a letter to the person I was complaining about, addressed it to them but with my name on, that is even before he came to investigate my grounds for the complaint. You can imagine how that went. The threats and name calling with a neighbour who probably cannot waif for her dog to jump all over my daughter again. They are all in it together nice and cosy, see no evil speak no evil LOL.

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