Benefits fraud caught dancing the night away
Posted: in by Michelle Barron.
A benefits cheat who claimed to be bed-ridden has been handed a jail sentence after he was caught dancing on camera at a wedding. Mohamed Bouzalim had received nearly £400,000 in benefits payments. Mr Bouzalim will face almost seven years in prison following admitting his guilt to charges of fraud, deception and assisting illegal entry into the UK.
Isleworth Crown Court was informed that Mr Bouzalim had used false names and documentation, including passports and driving licences, to net almost £400,000 in benefits payments, including money to fund family members for providing him with full-time care. Mr Bouzalim claimed that he was unable to walk and required 24-hour care. Camden Council provided him with a specially converted two bedroom flat in which to reside. Yet officers from the Metropolitan Police filmed Mr Bouzalim walking unaided in the locality of his flat. Upon raiding his purpose-built flat, officers found a film of him dancing at his own wedding in 2009.
Robert Coxhead, a senior investigating officer at the UK Border Agency’s department for Criminal and Financial Investigation, described Mr Bouzalim as a “top class fraudster”. Mr Bouzalim had received £137,602 from Camden Council to meet the cost of 24-hour care, around £70,000 worth of Housing benefit payments, £60,000 worth of funding from the Independent Living Fund, £74,000 worth of income support and £15,000 worth of disability living allowance. Mr Bouzalim also possessed property in east London, from which he earned £1,200 a month a rent.