Belfast Telegraph

Monday 15 September 2014

A4e staff face jobs claims charges

Thames Valley Police have been investigating alleged fraud among staff from welfare-to-work company A4e

Nine members of staff from welfare-to-work company A4e will be charged with fraud over alleged bogus claims for government payments, prosecutors said.

The workers are alleged to have forged documents to claim money from the Department for Work and Pensions that would have been paid when clients were found jobs.

It is claimed that some of the reward payments were made for people who never went to A4e or who had not been found employment.

Sue Patten, head of fraud at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: "Following an investigation by the Thames Valley Police economic crime unit, the CPS has authorised charges against six women and three men in connection with alleged fraudulent activity at Action 4 Employment (A4e), a social purpose company contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to deliver the 'Inspire to Aspire' employment and training scheme.

"It is alleged that between February 2009 and February 2013 nine A4e employees including one contract manager, seven recruiters and an administrator, employed across three A4e offices in the South East of England, committed numerous offences of fraud.

"It is alleged that they forged documentation to support fraudulent claims to the DWP for reward payments which, under the terms of the contract, were paid out when the scheme successfully placed individuals in employment.

"It is alleged that many of the reward payments related either to people who never attended A4e or to clients whom A4e had not successfully placed in employment."

All nine will appear at Slough Magistrates' Court on October 14.

Those facing charges are:

:: Contract manager Ines Cano-Uribe, who is accused of one count of forgery and one count of conspiracy to defraud

:: Administrator Zabar Khalil, who is charged with five counts of forgery and one count of conspiracy to defraud

:: Recruiter Charles McDonald, who faces seven counts of forgery, two counts of making articles for use in fraud and one count of possessing articles for use in fraud

:: Recruiter Nikki Foster, who is accused of ten counts of forgery

:: Recruiter Julie Grimes, who also faces ten counts of forgery

:: Recruiter Aditi Singh, who is accused of three counts of forgery and one count of possessing articles for use in fraud

:: Recruiter Bindiya Dholiwar, who faces seven counts of forgery

:: Recruiter Dean Lloyd, who will be charged with thirteen counts of forgery contrary

:: Recruiter Yasmin Ahmad, who is facing two counts of forgery.

A DWP spokeswoman said: " The department takes matters of fraud extremely seriously. DWP continues to provide full support to the ongoing investigation by Thames Valley Police, which is at an advanced stage.‬

"‪As today's charges are the result of a police investigation it would be inappropriate for the department to comment further during the criminal process.‬"

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