09:45AM, Monday 03 July 2017
A 53-year-old woman who is serving a prison sentence for stealing money from a Slough-based charity has now been ordered to pay back more than £40,000.
Karen Muhammad of Windmill Road, Slough, was given a confiscation order at Reading Crown Court on Friday, June 23.
She was ordered to pay £40,823.89 within three months. If it is not paid, an 18 month prison sentence will be imposed.
The offences related to the theft of money from the Chalvey Partnership charity in Slough.
Muhammad also transferred money from the maintenance firm Metro Management Company and made a false claim to Slough Borough Council in respect of housing benefit - failing to mention that she owned a property in West Sussex.
Muhammad was arrested in August 2014 and charged in May 2015 with offences under the Theft Act, Fraud Act and a further charge relating to making a false statement to obtain payment/benefit under the Social Security Act 1992.
In November 2016, she pleaded guilty to two offences of fraud and an offence under the Social Security Act, and elected to go to trial on two further matters relating to monies stolen from Metro Management Company.
On November 17, 2016, she was found guilty on the remaining two counts of theft.
The court case in November 2016 heard that Muhammad was chosen to be the chair of the charitable organisation the Chalvey Partnership in Slough when it was set up. It was her job to work with residents of Chalvey to identify community projects which would benefit the area.
She requested money for gym equipment which she never bought and also requested money for a street party which never happened. The money was transferred from Slough Borough Council to her personal account.
Muhammad said she had used the money to pay debts for the maintenance company Metro Management Co Ltd. She diverted funds of tens of thousands of pounds from the Chalvey Partnership and Metro Management Co Ltd. She also defrauded Slough Borough Council of thousands of pounds in benefits.
She was sentenced to three years in jail for those crimes on December15, 2016, at Reading Crown Court.
At the confiscation hearing last month, Muhammad was adjudged responsible for the benefit with assets identified in two properties; one in Slough and the other a flat in Hastings, West Sussex.
Detective Inspector Gavin Tyrrell, head of Thames Valley Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “This confiscation order demonstrates that after conviction, Thames Valley Police and the Crown Prosecution Service will seek to ensure that defendants will not benefit from their criminal activities.
“The defendant had clearly benefited as a result of her stealing money from Slough Council and Metro Management Co. The Proceeds of Crime Act enables us to deprive criminals of what has been obtained from their crimes on top of any sentences imposed by the courts.”
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