1. ITV Report

Council homelessness worker jailed for five years over housing fraud

Trudy Ali-Balogun was one of a group of five fraudsters. Credit: Southwark Council

A former council worker has been jailed for five years over housing fraud, a local authority has revealed.

Trudy Ali-Balogun was one of a group of five fraudsters have been brought to justice for their involvement in a momentous housing fraud case involving 23 fake housing applications, dating back to 2003.

Trudy Ali-Balogun, 55, a former Southwark Council homeless caseworker from September 2003 to April 2005, was found guilty of misconduct in a public office and sentenced to five years imprisonment.

I’m glad that the penalty reflects the severity of the crimes committed and I hope this send out a clear message about just how seriously we take housing fraud. Southwark’s waiting list is filled with hundreds of people in genuine need of a home."

– Councillor Fiona Colley, Southwark Council’

Four applicants were found guilty of obtaining services by deception. Biayo Awotiwon and Adeyemi Olalekan Oyedele were sentenced to five months in prison. Whilst Kudiartu Falana and Joseph Akin Olaiya received suspended sentences for five months and six months, respectively.

All four had made fraudulent applications which lead to three of them being granted a secure tenancy in Southwark having made fraudulent applications to Southwark Council for homeless housing, all assisted by Trudy Ali-Balogun.

Trudy Ali-Balogun had been the caseworker for 23 cases which contained fake documentation and abused her position as a council officer by processing bogus applications which she knew to be false, which should never had been granted, between 2003 and 2005.

The fake applications contained an astounding variety of false information and documentation, including: false signatures, false birth certificates (for children that did not exist), false UK and foreign passports, false home office documentation, false wage slips, fake bank statements, fake child benefit letters, and false national insurance numbers.

Ali-Balogun used her knowledge of the housing legislation to ‘prove’ homelessness when in fact each application should have been refused.