London benefit chiefs 'masterminded a 10-year £1m fraud'
- Council workers put the money into bank accounts set up with fake passports
- Seven assessors worked for councils in London including Kingston and Lambeth
- Defendants face charges of fraud by abuse of position between 2006 and 2016
- Rehel Asfaha, 35, allegedly pocketed more than £260,000 from two authorities
A group of housing benefit assessors fraudulently claimed more than £1million using false names, a court heard.
The council workers then put the money into bank accounts set up with fake passports, it was alleged.
The seven assessors worked for councils across London including Kingston, Lambeth and Barking & Dagenham.
Rehel Asfaha, 35, Jessica Bartley, 33, Menelik Cowan, 36, Natasha Francis, 37, Cassandra Johnson, 36, Hugh Junior Small, 38, Alexandra Williams, 38, all appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court this morning.
They are all face charges of fraud by abuse of position while working at the different councils from between 2006 to 2016.
Prosecutor Carley Loftus said: 'The allegations charged relate to a housing benefit fraud.
'A number of the people are appearing in court today are housing benefit assessors who worked for Kingston, Lambeth and Barking and Dagenham authorities.
'They have put in false claims using false identities and these benefits are paid into other people's accounts which are set up using false identities.
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