Fraudsters claiming £51k benefits jailed after being caught arm-wrestling

Flash benefits fraudsters who drove luxury cars while claiming disability benefits have been jailed after someone was caught participating in an arm wrestling match.

Four members of the Zarif family, who are landlords of numerous properties in their hometown of Blackburn, Lancashire, have defrauded taxpayers £ 51,514 in disability benefits and Carers’ Allowance, Preston Crown Court heard Thursday.

A mobility car, a £ 37,000 BMW 320, which belonged to one of their renters, was also used by a family member, and the benefits of another deceased renter were stolen.

The leaders of the people, Khalida Zarif, 51, the mother of the family, was jailed for 12 months and her son Sakib Zarif, 33, for 15 months.

A joint investigation between Lancashire Constabulary and the DWP started in February 2019, after concerns were raised about the possible exploitation of some of their tenants.

Detective Sergeant Stu Peall, of the Lancashire Police Department, said: “The Zarifs, especially Sakib and his mother Khalida, were motivated by pure greed, telling lies or not updating the DWP so they could get money they were not entitled to. had.

Not content with defrauding the DWP of thousands of pounds with lies about his condition, Sakib Zarif went even further, forcibly stealing money from a dead man and driving a luxury BMW Motability car that he was not entitled to because he it from another vulnerable tenant. “

Khalida claimed she had a complex set of disabilities, incontinence, severe depression, chronic asthma, severe back pain, dizziness, diabetes, high cholesterol, and panic attacks.

She said she needed a wheelchair and walker to get around.

Lancashire Police Department guards showed her walking, driving and carrying heavy errands from the trunk of her Mercedes car unaided.

She was over-paid of nearly £ 24,000.

Her eldest child, Sakib, an avid bodybuilder, claimed a Carer’s Allowance to take care of his mother and then also claimed disability benefits after being the victim of a sexual assault in 2016.

He claimed he could not cook, could only eat mixed food through a straw, suffered from bad temper and relied completely on his family for support and personal hygiene.

Police seized footage of the family’s cell phones on which Sakib was dancing at family events, and another clip showed him exercising in a gym and participating in an arm wrestling competition.

An investigation found that he was paid an overpaid benefit of £ 13,502.20.

He also managed some of other people’s Universal Credit claims and appeared to have access to their bank accounts, including for a renter who had passed away, and with a BMW car that had another renter under the Motability scheme but was under his name assured.

Sakib’s brother Faisal Zarif, 31, was paid too much £ 11,425.90 in Carer’s Allowance for his mother and sister. He was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison with a one year delay.

Atif Zarif, 21, the youngest son, Sakib Zarif’s caretaker, received fraudulent payments of £ 2,611.05. He was given a 12-month community assignment and 200 hours of unpaid work.

All four pleaded guilty at a January hearing.

Khalida Zarif, Faisal, and Atif Zarif admitted conspiracy to defraud, and Sakib admitted conspiracy to defrauding, fraud, and theft.

Chief Prosecutor Adam Till, of CPS Mersey-Cheshire, said: “The Zarif family is prosperous and has accumulated a large portfolio of properties in the Blackburn area.

“Most family members drive expensive German quality vehicles such as Mercedes-Benz or BMWs.

“The family was driven by greed. They should be ashamed.”