Councillor guilty of housing benefit fraud
A councillor has pleaded guilty to housing benefit fraud – the second time she has been convicted in court.
Shelina Akhtar, 33, an independent councillor in Spitalfields and Banglatown ward in Tower Hamlets, pleaded guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday to two counts of fraud and one count of failing to notify a change in circumstances.
Ms Akhtar, a colleague of Lutfur Rahman, the mayor of Tower Hamlets, was issued with a warrant for arrest yesterday after she did not turn up to court, claiming she was too ill to appear. She surrendered herself later on.
Ms Akhtar was previously found guilty of dishonestly claiming jobseeker’s allowance, housing benefit and council tax benefit during a case in 2010.
She will be sentenced on 6 February.