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Deaf conman jailed for 9 years for his part in a £900,000 benefit fraud

News | Mon 23rd Feb, 2015

Shahab Reza, 52, has been sentenced to 9 years imprisonment following his part as the mastermind of a £900,000 fraud. 

The case involved a large, complex and sophisticated fraud upon the Department of Work and Pension’s Access to Work (AtW) Scheme.  This scheme enables individuals with disabilities to access work by providing financial assistance to overcome work related barriers.  For example, a deaf person may require the assistance of a BSL interpreter.  Claims for reimbursement of costs for Support workers together with forged invoices were submitted to the DWP.  Sham companies were set up to facilitate this fraud and the money was laundered through bank accounts in Canada, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom before being spent on luxury holidays, diamonds and property abroad.

Shahab Reza (who is deaf himself) was the main defendant in the fraud and pleaded guilty in July 2014.  The case involved numerous defendants who were all known to Shahab Reza.

James Thacker was led by Rosina Cottage QC. 

Tom Rainsbury and Jennifer Newcomb acted as disclosure juniors.

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