Hackney council tax officer jailed for stealing £90,000 from taxpayers
PUBLISHED: 17:46 31 August 2016 | UPDATED: 11:06 01 September 2016
A council tax officer who stole thousands of pounds from the accounts of dead taxpayers is today behind bars.
While working at several different councils, Kevin Brown, 35, sifted through lists of accounts that were in credit and arranged for fake emails and phone calls to be sent to the department from taxpayers asking for any balance on the account to be paid to a third party.
He then used his position to authorise the payments, and the stolen money was paid into numerous third party bank accounts. In total, he stole almost £90,000.
The crime was first spotted in June last year by an audit investigator in Hackney and Brown resigned.
He was then investigated by Met fraud officers and they discovered that despite two previous convictions he had found work through employment agencies at Dartford and Sevenoaks councils, Revenues and Benefits Partnership in Leicestershire and the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
He then committed similar offences while working at these councils.
Appearing at Wood Green Crown Court yesterday, Brown, of Hawkins Drive, Chafford Hundred, was sentenced to two years and eight months in jail.
He had previously pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position and conspiring to commit money laundering. He also asked for three other offences to be taken into consideration.
Det Con Paul Allgood of the Met’s fraud team, said: “Our investigation showed in many cases the stolen money had come from council tax accounts where the resident had died.
“Payments that should have made to bereaved families were instead diverted into accounts controlled by Brown.
“Families dealing with their loved ones’ financial matters applied for refunds and were told the money had already been paid out.
“Brown’s actions caused relatives of the deceased extra stress at a very difficult time and I am pleased that justice has now been served.”