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Greater Manchester woman given suspended jail sentence over attempted £37k Right to Buy fraud

A woman from Greater Manchester who made a fraudulent Right to Buy application has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Manchester City Council said its officers had been investigating Tuyet Anh Alexander, 52, of Bolton Road West, Bury, since June 2018.

This followed suspicions being raised around the legitimacy of a Right to Buy application in respect of her father’s home.

The council said housing and counter-fraud officers learned that Alexander had attempted to purchase her father's home in North Manchester under the scheme, forging his signature and naming herself as a joint applicant.

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It was identified that her father had been out of the UK since June 2013 and had no intention to return - at which point the property should have been surrendered, the council said.

Alexander, the owner of another property which she had purchased under the Right to Buy scheme, continued to reside in the property and submitted the application to purchase the property under the scheme purporting to be her father.

The council said: “As Alexander was not the tenant and her father had parted with possession of the property, she had no entitlement to purchase the property or claim the discount.”

It was calculated that Alexander would have saved £37,000 had she been successful in her application.

Alexander pleaded guilty to making a fraudulent Right to Buy application under the Fraud Act 2006 on 10 October.

At Manchester Magistrates’ Court on 24 October, she was jailed for 16 weeks, suspended for a year. She was also ordered to carry out 16 days of rehabilitation activity, 150 hours of unpaid work, pay court costs of £1,000 and a victim surcharge of £115.

Cllr Suzanne Richards, Executive Member for House and Regeneration at Manchester City Council, said: “As a council we want to ensure that everyone in this city has access to a safe, secure and affordable home. That is why we are working hard to safeguard our social housing stock and prevent unnecessary losses. We also have a programme of building new social homes in partnership with Registered Social Landlords across the city. Crimes like this make all our jobs that much harder to do.

“We are in the midst of a housing crisis and we cannot afford to lose out to fraudsters. I’d like to thank our investigating officers for ensuring that in this case, justice was served and this home was saved for someone in genuine housing need in our city.”

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