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Charges in benefits fraud investigation

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Eleven people have been charged in connection with an investigation into a large scale benefit scam.

 

Officers carried out dawn raids at seven properties in the Blackburn area yesterday (Wednesday 26 June), where eight men and four women were arrested in relation to the suspected fraudulent payment of around half a million pounds in disability benefits.

 

‘Operation Cactus’ is also looking at the alleged exploitation of vulnerable tenants with complex needs, through the control of their bank cards as well as the direct payment of universal credit and  housing benefits into the bank accounts of home owners renting out their properties.

 

The investigation is being supported by the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

 

 

This morning (27 June), eleven of the 12 people arrested have been charged.

 

They are as follows:

 

  • Khalida Zarif, 49, of Preston New Road, Blackburn. Charged with conspiracy to defraud, theft and dishonestly failing to disclose information to make a gain for self/another or cause/expose other to loss.
  • Sakib Zarif, 31, of Preston New Road, Blackburn. Charged with conspiracy to defraud, theft and dishonestly failing to disclose information to make a gain for self/another or cause/expose other to loss.
  • Faisal Zarif, 30, of Preston New Road, Blackburn. Charged with conspiracy to defraud and dishonestly failing to disclose information to make a gain for self/another or cause/expose other to loss.
  • Atif Zarif, 19, of Preston New Road, Blackburn. Charged with conspiracy to defraud and dishonestly failing to disclose information to make a gain for self/another or cause/expose other to loss.
  • Anisa Zarif, 24, of Preston New Road, Blackburn. Charged with conspiracy to defraud and dishonestly failing to disclose information to make a gain for self/another or cause/expose other to loss.
  • Fozia Zarif, 28, of Columbia Way, Blackburn. Charged with conspiracy to defraud and dishonestly failing to disclose information to make a gain for self/another or cause/expose other to loss.
  • David Neale, 51, of Kirby Road, Blackburn. Charged with conspiracy to defraud and dishonestly failing to disclose information to make a gain for self/another or cause/expose other to loss.
  • Anthony Preece, 46, of Shear Brow, Blackburn. Charged with conspiracy to defraud and dishonestly failing to disclose information to make a gain for self/another or cause/expose other to loss.
  • Mohammed Zarif, 59, of Redlam, Blackburn. Charged with dishonestly failing to disclose information to make a gain for self/another or cause/expose other to loss.
  • Patrick Leggat, 43, of Selbourne Street, Blackburn. Charged with theft.
  • Mohammed Sadiq, 45, of Hollin Bridge Street, Blackburn. Charged with theft.

 

All have been bailed to appear before Blackburn Magistrates’ Court on 18 July.

 

A 36 year old woman from Blackburn arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud and theft has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

 

 

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