A councillor has been prosecuted by Luton Council and sentenced to eight months custody, suspended for 18 months plus 200 hours unpaid work after pleading guilty to one count of fraud. The sentence was handed to Hannah Adrees of Conway Road at Luton’s Crown Court on June 10 following an investigation by the Shared Anti-Fraud Service.
The investigation followed an allegation of fraud over a period of two years from 2018 to 2020 in respect of her administration, as a family member, of an adult social care payment. The court heard how Adrees, as a person in a position of trust, managed the direct care payments on behalf of an elderly relative and abused that position.
She dishonestly used the payments to purchase items for herself as well as using more than £2,000 for unauthorised wages. In handing down the sentence the judge commented that although her actions were not sophisticated they took place over a long period.
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A council spokesperson said: “The council is committed to investigating and prosecuting any allegations of fraud irrespective of the identity of the alleged offender. No individual can ever be above the law and we will continue working together with the Shared Anti-Fraud Service in order to protect the public purse and take action against anyone found to be committing criminal offences at the authority’s expense.”
Her actions were a gross abuse of someone in a position to manage funds and she used the benefits system to defraud the very authority she was elected to serve. In mitigation, she was given credit for her early guilty plea and good character. As the sentence is more than three months, Adrees is now disqualified from holding office as a councillor which will trigger a by-election in Dallow Ward.