Bid to claw back cash from thieving South Holland District Council officer

COUNCIL chiefs will meet victims of a housing officer who conned them out of cash and will take legal advice on how to get the money he stole from them and the authority itself.

Ex-South Holland District Council officer Waheed Rabbani was jailed for 18 months at Lincoln Crown Court last week for stealing cash from families he worked with and lying his way into his job.

Rabbani (39), from Outfield, Bretton, told homeless families to hand him up to £600 a time to get accommodation and tricked the council into paying his £700 a month rent.

He told the council he had two degrees - but in fact had no such qualifications and when quizzed said his documents were destroyed by his wife when they split up.

Kim Warren, council head of housing and property services, said: “Immediately we became aware of the possibility of fraud we took the appropriate internal action and suspended the individual concerned.

“When our internal investigation was complete and we were satisfied that there was a case to answer the matter was immediately reported to the police who we assisted throughout their investigation.”

The council said Rabbani was employed by an agency before they took him on and they got a reference from them and spoke to his previous employers.

In a statement the council said it had now reviewed its practices - including the signing, countersigning and reconciliation of payments.

It added: “The Council has not reimbursed those individuals affected by Mr Rabbani’s fraudulent activities, as this case culminated in a Police investigation the matter had to be proven.

“We will discuss the outcome with those individuals referred to us by the police now that the matter has been determined by the courts.

“Mr Rabbani has declared himself bankrupt: we are taking legal advice in order to ascertain what means of recovering monies are available to us.

“The police undertook a thorough investigation of this crime: there was no evidence to suggest that there were any other people involved in Mr Rabbani’s deception other than those identified.”

Rabanni admitted 11 charges of theft totalling £17,000 on dates between May and September 2009 and obtaining his job by deception.