A disgraced former councillor caught using an exclusive gym while claiming disability benefit has been ordered to surrender £120,000 in assets to repay a string of frauds.
Joginder Saroe was originally thought to have scammed £45,000 from Ealing Council and the government after being exposed in a Gazette sting in 2005 - but further investigations have revealed he benefited by more than £200,000.
The 62-year-old of Beaconsfield Road, Southall, used running and cycling machines at the David Lloyd health club while claiming incapacity benefit and claimed council tax relief while renting out a number of flats, it has emerged.
Saroe, who was spared jail in March after admitting eight charges of false accounting and manipulating housing benefit, drove a Mercedes with personalised number plates to the confiscation hearing at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday.
Prosecutor Rossano Cifonelli told the hearing that Saroe's original sentence did not reflect the full scale of the crimes that had now been revealed.
He said: "The defendant presented a picture of a person who owned one property and was in desperate financial straits. But the financial investigations revealed that he actually owned a further two properties. So he was sentenced on a basis that was not accurate at the time.
"The defence has suggested there may be various assets that he could recover."
Recorder Joanna Glynn QC agreed that the criminal benefit to Saroe was £219,210 and that realisable assets £120,000 should be surrendered, of which £31,752 should go to the Ealing Council and £13,280 to the Department of Work and Pensions. He will face two years in prison if he fails to pay up within six months.
Saroe served first as a Labour councillor for Dormers Wells and later as an independent. He began legitimately claiming income support when a market stall he ran in Bristol failed in 1994, but continued to claim illegally after he began renting out a flat above a car showroom in Wales, which brought him an extra £250 a week.
Saroe only declared his business interests after being confronted in 2005.
Sentencing him to a ten-month suspended sentence after his original hearing, Judge Andrew MacDowall said such a case of benefit fraud "affects the community at large and reduces the amount of resources available to the state in dealing with its responsibilities to people who need the money."