A BUSINESSMAN who illegally claimed nearly £30,000 in benefits from Ealing Council was jailed for six months last week.
Mohinder Gill, 52, of Quaker Lane, Southall, was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court last Friday for claiming housing and council tax while owning a second property and several businesses.
Prosecutor Richard Hearnden said that when the 52-year-old sold his other property for more than £300,000, he made a profit of £115,000.
Speaking through a Panjabi interpreter, Gill admitted eight charges of false accounting against the borough so his wife and daughter, who were originally charged with him, had proceedings against them dropped.
Mr Hearnden said: "The claim was fraudulent from the start and went on for five-and-a-half-years. This defendant purchased his house in 1997, about four years before the earliest date of the claim."
He added: "Having been inter-viewed in January, he sold the Uxbridge Road house in September for £340,000, making a profit of £115,000.
He has been repaying the council at £200 a month for housing benefit and £250 a month for council tax benefit. He still owes more than £20,000. He has the funds to pay back far more."
Defence counsel said Gill and his family hoped to repay the full amount "within the year. But it is causing a strain".
Living in Southall in 2001, Gill completed a claim form for housing and council tax and was asked if he owned any property.
The court heard that Gill did not declare another property he owned in Uxbridge Road, Southall, where his wife and children were living and for which they paid him rent. He continued to submit regular claims for benefit.
In June 2006 Gill also failed to declare a change in his circumstances when his income support had ended, which "kicked off the investigation against him and his family".
Mr Hearnden said Gill was also the director of two companies - Skylark Travel and Skylark Travel and Tours. He also owned an offlicence.
Judge Recorder Gopal Hooper said: "This course of conduct was motivated by greed, nothing else. You have been involved in businesses throughout."