A FAMILY of fraudsters who owned properties in Brent and Harrow and drove high performance cars have been jailed for falsely claiming a total of £170,000 in benefits
Four members of the family were jailed on Tuesday (June 29) for their part in the scam. Three others were given suspended custodial sentences.
An eighth member of the same family will be sentenced on July 16.
The family claimed housing and council tax benefits to the value of £168,226.24, while in reality they were property owners who drove Mercedes, BMW and Porsche cars.
They submitted housing benefit applications for properties where they lived when they either owned the home, lived with the owner or provided false information to support each other.
Two of their properties were next door to each other and shared a garden and conservatory, but the two householders claimed they did not know each other.
Harrow Labour councillor, Graham Henson, said: "This was a cynical and premeditated scam by a family bent on living the high life while honest taxpayers footed the bill.
"We're very pleased with the court's decision and will now be taking steps to recover the money and return it to the public purse.
"In these tough economic times it's essential housing benefit goes to those people in real need, and not to fraud-sters driving around in Porsches and BMWs.
"I hope the verdict sends a clear message that if you claim money you are not entitled to, we will catch up with you."
Brent Labour councillor, Muhammed Butt, added: "This was a challenging case involving many months of diligent investigation work by my investigators unpicking a complicated web of deceit.
"Working with Harrow Council, we were able to unearth a fraud worth in excess of £150,000, which had been deliberate from the outset.
"I don't underestimate how difficult these cases are for juries to follow and commend them for reaching the right verdict."
Brent and Harrow Council will both be pursuing repayment of the monies fraudulently obtained via confiscation proceedings.
THE FAMILY MEMBERS
* Sivakumar Pathmanathan, 43, 15 months jail for signing false documents and accepting fraudulently obtained benefit in relation to Clayton Avenue, Wembley.
* Shamini Kowridas, 38, six months jail after stating she lived in Clayton Avenue, Wembley, but lived at a property in Minehead Road, Harrow, which she owned.
* Nalliah Kowridas, 43, husband of Shamini, sentenced to 15 months in jail for assisting his wife in providing false documents for his brother-in-law's fraudulent claims.
**Premkumar Pathmanathan, 36, 14 months jail for claiming from Meyrick Road, but not declaring ownership of properties. The value of benefit claimed was £8,113.82. He also falsely claimed housing benefit for a property in Martin Drive, Northolt, to the value of £2,720.
**Sinniah Pathmanathan, 78, the father, pleaded guilty before trial, having claimed from Clayton Avenue, Wembley, and was given a 12-month suspended sentence. Value of benefit obtained was £54,054.99.
**Sittampalam Soundrasritharan, 51, owner of Martin Drive, Northolt, was given a 10-month suspended sentence. He provided documents in support of Sinniah's claims living in Clayton Avenue, Wembley.
**Kalaivany Premkumar, 40, wife of Premkumar Pathmanathan, was given a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work after claiming housing benefit from Clayton Avenue, Wembley, but did not declare that her husband was joint owner of the property. Value of benefit obtained was £53,712.
**Pathmakumar Pathmanathan, 44, has been remanded in custody for sentencing on July 16. He claimed housing benefit stating he lived in Minehead Road, Harrow, and that his landlord lived at Clayton Avenue. He was living at Clayton Avenue, which he jointly owned with his brother, Premkumar. Value of benefit obtained £49,625.37.
**Kajani Pathmakumar, wife of Pathmakumar, was found not guilty.