‘Frauds stole £1.1m from taxpayer-funded immigrant fund because the Home Office didn’t have the resources to check whether applications were legitimate or not’
A trio allegedly raked in money from schemes promoting ‘integration’ in the UK
Jurors were told they applied for grants when Theresa May was Home Secretary
A court heard the Home Office didn’t have ‘resources’ to inspect each document
By ABE HAWKEN FOR MAILONLINE
19 April 2017
Frauds stole £1.1 million from a ‘soft’ taxpayer-funded immigrant fund because the Home Office did not have the resources to scrutinize every document, a court heard today.
Mohammed Chaudhari, 37, his sister Suraiya Alam, 43, and Victoria Sherrey, 66, allegedly raked in cash from schemes promoting ‘social, cultural, and economic integration’ in the UK.
They are accused of fraudulently applying for grants from the Home Office, between 2010 and 2015, when Theresa May was Home Secretary.
Jurors were told the Home Office could not ‘closely’ inspect each application because of the lack of resources.
As a result, they accepted fraudulent applications from the group’s Birmingham-based business Inspire Futures and Accent on Training.
Civil servants pumped cash from the EU Integration Fund into the companies’ projects ‘Integrating Communities’ and ‘Communities Welcome’, which the defendants claim helped immigrants learn English.
But Chaudhari, Alam, and Sherrey were arrested after their staff told the Home Office funds were not being used properly.
Chaudhari is said to have provided false documents to the Home Office while working as a director of Accent On Training with Sherrey.
Jurors heard Alam’s company Perception Training and Consultancy, in Birmingham, gave ‘independent assurance that the projects were using the funds appropriately’.
The Home Office were unaware of her links to Chaudhari and Sherrey, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Edmund Vickers QC, prosecuting, said: ‘These three defendants fraudulently obtained over £1.13m in EU funds allocated to the businesses which they were running.
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