A benefits fraudster has been jailed after fleecing the taxpayer out of nearly £74,000 while running a £2.6million property empire.
Seema Bassi, 49, claimed she was a jobless single mother to pocket handouts for more than a decade.
But she was secretly amassing a property portfolio across Kent raking in a fortune from tenants, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
Bassi owned 26 homes worth a total of £2.6million, providing her with about £150,000 in rent a year.
She bought her first property in 1994 and started claiming benefits three years later.
Her portfolio included 14 flats and four houses in Gravesend, a house in Canterbury, three flats in Herne Bay, a two-bedroom terrace in Greenhithe, and a house in Richmond Street, Hartlepool, Cleveland.
Some of the properties were leased to Gravesham Council in Kent as sheltered housing for asylum seekers, the court heard.
Her fraud was uncovered after Gravesham Council started investigating her brother for failing to pay council tax in 2012.
The paper trail led investigators to contact Redbridge Council for more details about Bassi when they learned she had purchased 18 houses from her brother.
Stacks of documents were seized from Bassi’s home in Ilford, including bank statements and tenancy agreements.
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Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2723558/Benefits-fraudster-claimed-74-000-handouts-owning-2-6million-property-empire-raked-150-000-rent-year-jailed-12-months.html#ixzz3AIC6ioZO
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