02:59PM, Friday 30 November 2018
A Slough man who tried to buy his council house despite owing a private property has been convicted of fraud.
Joseph Elms, of Moreton Way, Slough, applied for a council property without declaring a financial interest in a private home in Northborough Road and continued not to declare this despite being offered and moving into a council home on Moreton Way.
If someone has a financial interest in a private home they are not eligible for council housing but despite this in May 2017 Elms applied to buy the Moreton Way property under the right to buy scheme.
By then his property in Northborough Road had been sold netting him £154,892.23.
The 59-year-old pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud at Reading Crown Court on October 29 and was sentenced on Tuesday to 160 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay Slough Borough Council £14,916 in costs within 14 days and to pay £10,437.02 as a confiscation order under the Proceeds of crime Act within seven days.
Councillor Mohammed Nazir, lead member for housing, said: “Our housing stock is not limitless and by pretending he had no financial interests in any other property Mr Elms first received a council property he didn’t deserve but then tried to buy it.
“He not only deprived a more deserving person of the property on Moreton Way but then callously tried to get the Right to Buy discount on it presumably so he could sell it like his previous property and make a large profit.
“Our housing is for those most in need and I hope this sentence and the fines imposed serve as a deterrent to anyone thinking of trying to defraud us.”
Elms has now been required to leave the property on Moreton Way and it will be allocated to someone on the housing register.
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