A TAXI driver – listed as a director at one of Huddersfield’s best-known Indian restaurants – and his wife wrongly pocketed more than £2,000 in benefits, a court heard.
Aslam and Samina Nadeem, of Olive Street, Fartown, pleaded guilty to failing to notify the local authority of their change in circumstances and that they were in receipt of working tax credits and child tax credits.
The failure to inform Kirklees Council resulted in the couple receiving £2,282.82 in housing and council tax benefit between February 2008 and February 2010, to which they were not entitled.
Prosecutor Sarah Swarbrick appearing at Huddersfield Magistrates yesterday, said: “The pair applied for means tested benefit in June 2007 by way of council tax and housing benefit.
“In July 2007 a decision letter was sent to the pair setting out how their claim would be paid out and how it was their responsibility to notify the council if they had a change in circumstances.
“However, national fraud investigators noticed that the defendant, Mr Nadeem, owned a personal alcohol licence and had done so since 2008.
“Further checks revealed Mr Nadeem is listed as the director of Memsahib restaurant in Huddersfield and his wife is listed as company secretary.
“As a result, bank accounts revealed Mr Nadeem received payments from Mount Taxis totalling £14,274.
“On interview Mrs Nadeem said it was her husband who dealt with the finances and she was only able to withdraw a limited amount of money for household items.
“She was asked to produce bank statements and accounts for the business and failed to meet this request – and council tax payments were stopped.”
Defence solicitor Marnat Ali told the court his clients were of previous good character and had entered guilty pleas at the earliest opportunity.
He said: “It was a matter of disorganisation not dishonesty.”
Magistrate John Newton issued the defendants with fines of £455 each and to pay back the remainder of the benefits to which they were not entitled.