The London Borough of Redbridge is to share information and intelligence with other councils and HM Revenue and Customs, after three people were found guilty of a £1.4m housing benefit fraud.
The three defendants had been accused at Snaresbrook Crown Court of providing claimants with false documents so that they could claim housing benefit, council tax reduction and tax credits.
Chowdhury Muyeed, 52 from Horns Road, Ilford was found guilty of conspiracy to dishonestly produce or furnish documents or information contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.
Asma Khanom, 47 from Horns Road, Ilford was found guilty of dishonestly producing or furnishing documents or information, contrary to section 111A(1)(b) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992.
Habibur Rahman, 36 from Granville House, Arbery Road, Bow was found guilty of dishonestly producing or furnishing documents or information, contrary to section 111A(1)(b) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992.
The three defendants will be sentenced on 8 April 2016.
Redbridge Council revealed that as part of its continuing investigation, it had found a large number of people were declaring false employment details in order to claim housing benefit.
“So far, 44 people have been charged and 29 people have pleaded or been found guilty to offences under the Social Security Administration Act 1992. A number of further court appearances are scheduled in the next few months,” it said.
“It is suspected that this type of fraud could be taking place across the country. Information and intelligence has now been passed onto other councils and HM Revenue and Customs. In addition to this, the National Anti-Fraud Network (NAFN) will provide intelligence to other local councils to enable them to suspend any claims made using fraudulent employers.”
Redbridge said it would vigorously pursue the recovery of any overpaid benefits that had been given as a result of fraud through the courts or through civil recovery action.
Cllr Ross Hatfull, Cabinet Member for Housing, Payments and Benefits at Redbridge, said: “We strongly welcome the verdict and we are very pleased that the perpetrators have been caught, found guilty, and will be severely punished. We absolutely do not tolerate fraudsters who rip off our hardworking taxpayers.
"We have been working very hard to stamp this out and our message is completely clear: if you commit fraud, we will come after you, you will be caught, and you will be punished.”