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Man pleads guilty to claiming over £100k for Grenfell Tower related fraud

News   •   Nov 06, 2018 07:01 GMT

Sharife Elouahabi

A man has pleaded guilty to fraud after claiming more than £100,000 for accommodation and financial benefits intended for the victims of the Grenfell Tower.

Sharife Elouahabi, 38 (02.08.1980) of no fixed abode pleaded guilty to one charge of fraud by false representation at Isleworth Crown Courton Monday, 5 November.

He is due to be sentenced on Tuesday, 20 November at the same court.

The court heard that Elhouhabi claimed a total of £103,475.60 for accommodation and financial assistance between 23 June 2017 - 25 June 2018 following the Grenfell Tower fire on 14 June 2017 which claimed the lives of 70 people.

He had claimed to have been staying at a flat on the 21st floor where a family is known to have died.

He was due to receive resettlement payments worth a further £14,730 to go towards a flat and free utilities, before the fraud was discovered.

An investigation revealed that Elhouhabi was living at another address in Kensington, and had no links to Grenfell Tower.

DC Ben Rouse, who led the investigation, said: "This was a substantial fraud, made all the more deplorable by the fact that it was committed in the immediate aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, with the money set aside to help those directly affected by the tragedy.

"Elhouhabi shamelessly took advantage of the efforts to rehouse people whose homes had been destroyed by claiming his link to one of the flats, and he was subsequently put in hotel accommodation. Further investigations revealed that he had not even lived in the tower.

"This is the latest in what is sadly a long line of Grenfell-related frauds. We will continue to investigate and where appropriate prosecute anyone who is financially profiting from the Grenfell fire, and taking away resources and support for the true victims."