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Camden man's £150,000 fraud

PUBLISHED: 13:34 07 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:40 07 September 2010

A Camden resident whose benefit fraud was only discovered when a policeman moved into his old flat has admitted false accounting. Blackfriars Crown Court heard how asylum seeker Fahd El-Hajj, 34, who came to this country in 1999 from Palestine, made up to

A Camden resident whose benefit fraud was only discovered when a policeman moved into his old flat has admitted false accounting.

Blackfriars Crown Court heard how asylum seeker Fahd El-Hajj, 34, who came to this country in 1999 from Palestine, made up to £75,000 a year in his job as a builder and carpenter while claiming housing benefit from Camden Council.

He is estimated to have made more than £43,500 during the four years he lived in Hillcrest Court, Shoot Up Hill in Camden.

Despite being refused asylum only a month after making his first bogus claim to the council in 2004, El-Hajj did not declare his position as it would have led to the loss of his housing benefit. Instead he continued to pretend he had no money in order claim cash from the council for his £300,000 flat.

Fahd El-Hajj's crime was only detected when he moved out of Hillcrest Court and a policeman moved in. The officer discovered £10,500 in cash in brown envelopes inside a drawer, which El-Hajj had forgotten about.

After the matter was investigated it emerged that £150,000 had passed through El-Hajj's bank accounts in two years.

A spokeswoman for Camden Council said they were "delighted" at the outcome of the case. She said: "The council takes benefit fraud very seriously, as people who fraudulently claim benefits are taking money away from the most vulnerable members of society."

El-Hajj admitted five counts of false accounting. He will appear in court for sentencing later this month.


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