Barking benefit swindler ordered to pay back £1m by October

Britain’s most profitable benefit cheat has been named and shamed this week as a man from Barking – ordered to pay back more than £1million by October or face five years in jail.

Sly Malik, 49, was identified as top of the 10 highest cash confiscations in Britain, in a list released by the government at the weekend in a bid to clamp down on benefit fraud.

In October 2012, he was ordered to pay back £1,031,943 within a year. It followed a 2011 court case at which he was found guilty of 12 charges of benefit fraud and was given a two-year prison sentence.

Malik had built up a housing portfolio worth more than £800,000, had a string of companies in his name, and had more than 70 bank accounts hiding more than £200,000 - and yet he still claimed jobseeker’s allowance and housing benefit totalling £38,952 over seven years.

After he was found guilty of fiddling the system, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) took legal action to recover the stolen money along with profits made along the way.

Confiscation orders mean that benefit cheats can be forced to pay back a lot more than originally stolen – Malik was ordered to pay 25 times what he falsely claimed.

Lord Freud, minister for welfare, said: “These cases should serve as a warning to the cynical minority who see benefits as a way of unfairly lining their pockets at the taxpayer’s expense.

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“You will face justice and we will use all the powers of the law to close down bank accounts, freeze assets and force the sale of properties to claw back the stolen money and any proceeds made from that stolen money.”

On Monday, Malik refused to comment when the Post went to his home in Ripple Road. The DWP was unable to say whether he has been paying the money or how much he still owes.

A council spokesman said: “When applying for benefits, residents are legally required to declare all their savings, assets and earnings and have a duty to report all changes in circumstances which could affect entitlement.”