Barking and Dagenham council fraud probe

A REPORT by the council s internal auditors has revealed a shocking level of fraud committed among colleagues at the Town Hall. In a catalogue of dishonesty, council workers were sacked or resigned last year after it was discovered they were claiming ben

A REPORT by the council's internal auditors has revealed a shocking level of fraud committed among colleagues at the Town Hall.

In a catalogue of dishonesty, council workers were sacked or resigned last year after it was discovered they were claiming benefits, holding down other jobs or swindling money out of the council.

o Two employees were holding down full time jobs elsewhere, one was a consultant who worked in Barking and Dagenham and Wolverhampton.

o One member of staff tried to con more than �200,000 by making a false early retirement claim.


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Another employee was caught working elsewhere while claiming sick money from their job with the council.

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o A brazen member of staff who sold his car shortly after receiving a substantial car loan from the council was forced to repay �5,700.

o One council worker was exposed as a benefit thief. The scrounger falsely claimed �30,000.

o And a member of staff was lead away in handcuffs after the council reported them to police on suspicion of money laundering

o Recently all employees were asked to provide evidence of their right to work in the UK, such as European or British passports, this resulted in six people resigning.

o One person was caught with a fake passport and another is under investigation after their partner was convicted of identity fraud and found with several fake passports.

o Fourteen members of council staff were investigated and either resigned or were suspended over abusing mobile phone claims.

o Another employee was fired after the council discovered they were doctoring their car mileage claims.

In all cases the council is now attempting to recover the money from them, though a number of the employees resigned when confronted by council officers.

The council's audit committee will meet on April 22 to discuss these matters and what can be done to prevent similar cases.

Their plan covers managerial awareness and training, staff vetting and appointments, right to work, misuse of mobile phones, financial controls.

Cllr Graham Bramley, executive member for internal audit, said: "We have a zero tolerance approach to Fraud and Corruption whether the perpetrator is a member of staff or others.

"We investigate any alleged illegal activities thoroughly and always take appropriate action as necessary.

"We take allegations of fraud made against members of staff very seriously.

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