London,
20
April
2018
|
17:36
Europe/London

12 month prison sentence for pharmacist after tenancy fraud uncovered

A pharmacist who presented forged bank statements and utility bills in an attempt to gain the tenancy of his dead grandmother’s four bed council flat in Camden has been sentenced to 12 months in prison.

33-year-old Abdul Rahman Kowsor, of Ennerdale Close, Cardiff, pleaded guilty to both falsely claiming residence at 7 Arkwright Mansions, London NW3 6DF for a period of 15 months and also perverting the course of justice in relation to documentation he provided in county court proceedings at Blackfriars Crown Court on Wednesday 4 April 2018.

Mr Kowsor was sentenced to eight months for the fraud and 12 months for perverting the course of justice to run concurrently.

Mary Mcgowan, Director of Housing Management at Camden Council, said: “We have now got this four bedroom flat back into use and allocated it to a Camden family who were in real need of housing. We will continue pursuing cases like this to ensure our housing goes to Camden residents who truly need it and to show we won’t accept tenancy fraud.”

On 20 October 2015 Mr Kowsor applied to Camden Council to succeed to his deceased grandmother’s flat at Arkwright Mansions. Mr Kowsor claimed he had resided in the flat since July 2014 with his wife and his father and provided Lloyds bank statements with this address – despite actually living in Cardiff at the time. This was a dishonest false representation under the Fraud Act.

Camden took possession proceedings in the county court to recover the flat. Mr Kowsor defended these proceedings and on 27 February 2017 provided a signed witness statement stating that he had lived in the property since June 2014 and provided Thames Water, British Gas, BT and Sky subscriptions linked to his name.

Camden Council’s housing investigation team examined these documents and wrote to relevant organisations to verify them. The Council found:

  • The Lloyds bank accounts were forgeries as Lloyds had no such customer.
  • British Gas did not supply 7 Arkwright Gardens.
  • Thames Water’s direct debit was not to a bank account of Kowsor.
  • Sky direct debits appear on the forged Lloyds bank account.

On 31 March 2017, Mr Kowsor attended interview under caution with Camden housing investigation officers and admitted supplying false documents to obtain a tenancy. Shortly afterwards he vacated the flat which was returned to Camden.

Camden Council estimates that the loss of the four bedroom flat for a period of 20 months resulted in the Council paying out approximately £37,300 to house families in housing need in temporary accommodation. Mr Kowsor has since paid Camden Council this sum in compensation.

Mr Kowsor runs a small chain of pharmacists in South Wales in addition to being a practising pharmacist himself.