Former Tower Hamlets councillor must pay back £110,000 housing fraud gains - or face returning to jail

PUBLISHED: 00:05 10 July 2018

Former councillor Shahed Ali. Picture: Kois Miah/Tower Hamlets Council

Former councillor Shahed Ali. Picture: Kois Miah/Tower Hamlets Council

Kois Miah/Tower Hamlets Council

A former councillor who was jailed for housing fraud must pay £180,000 or face returning to prison.

Shahed Ali, who represented Whitechapel ward as a member of the banned Tower Hamlets First party, has been served with a confiscation order requiring him to pay back the £110,000 he made as a result of his fraud.

In addition to repaying Tower Hamlets Council and the government, he must also pay the council’s legal costs of £70,000.

The investigation into Ali began after he applied for social housing in 2009, claiming to be sleeping on a relative’s sofa, and was given a one-bedroom council flat in Christian Street, off Brick Lane.

However, he failed to disclose that he owned a property in Manchester Road, and had also inherited a former council flat in Cannon Street Road, Shadwell, that had been purchased under Right to Buy by his mother.

The council became suspicious after he applied for a single person’s discount for council tax on the flat, while he was also registered to pay council tax elsewhere.

An investigation into Ali found that as well as the Manchester Road property, he also owned two others in Frinton on Sea, on the north Essex coast, including a curry house downstairs.

As a result, the council charged Ali with fraudulently failing to disclose his ownership of 2 residential properties between October 2009 and February 2016.

He was jailed for five months in October 2016 after pleading guilty to housing fraud at Snaresbrook Crown Court - having denied the charges for months.

Will Tuckley, chief executive of Tower Hamlets Council, said: “This is a quite staggering case of fraud. We are pleased that our detailed investigations have paid off, not just in terms of a prison sentence but also in clawing back public money.

“Benefits and council housing are there to help our most vulnerable residents.

“Fraudsters should know that we have specialist investigators looking into files every day and we will not hesitate to prosecute.”

When sentenced in 2016, Ali was also disqualified from office as a councillor and barred from standing again for five years.

He was first elected for former MP George Galloway’s Respect Party in 2006, then for Lutfur Rahman’s Tower Hamlets First Party in 2010.

Related articles

Latest East London News Stories

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Yesterday, 16:44

Two suspected phone snatchers have been arrested following a police chase through east and south London which ended when their moped crashed with a van.

Yesterday, 12:00

A large drug dealing gang who peddled their wares on the streets of Tower Hamlets are due to be sentenced today.

Yesterday, 09:15

A drug-smuggling gun runner who stored cannabis and equipment used to prep cocaine in a house in Poplar has been jailed for 17-and-a-half years.

Thu, 18:24

All the students taking A-levels at Whitechapel’s Swanlea Secondary have passed.

Thu, 16:00

Two directors of a convenience store in Bethnal Green where one of the largest haul of illegal alcohol was seized in the borough have been banned from running their own companies.

Thu, 14:25

A man has been rushed to hospital after he was hit by a car in Mile End today.

Thu, 14:19

A student from Canary Wharf has secured a place at university for September - accompanied by her guide dog.


Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now