Thirteenth Grenfell fraudster pleads guilty

Thirteenth Grenfell fraudster pleads guilty

Sharife Elouahabi. Image: Metropolitan Police

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A man has pleaded guilty to fraudulently claiming over £100,000 in benefits and accommodation after posing as a Grenfell Tower survivor.

Sharife Elouahabi, 38, is the thirteenth person to be charged after being found to have defrauded the assistance fund meant for Grenfell victims,

He will be sentenced on November 20 at Isleworth Crown Court.

Between June 23 last year and June 25 this year, Elhouabi claimed £103,475.60 worth of accommodation and financial help.

He said he had been staying at a 21st-floor flat in the tower, but was found to have been living elsewhere in Kensington with no connection to Grenfell Tower at all.

He was in line to receive a further £14,730 before his crime was discovered.

DC Ben Rouse, who led the investigation, said: "This was a substantial fraud, made all the more deplorable by the fact that it was committed in the immediate aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, with the money set aside to help those directly affected by the tragedy.

"Elhouhabi shamelessly took advantage of the efforts to rehouse people whose homes had been destroyed by claiming his link to one of the flats, and he was subsequently put in hotel accommodation. Further investigations revealed that he had not even lived in the tower.

"This is the latest in what is sadly a long line of Grenfell-related frauds. We will continue to investigate and where appropriate prosecute anyone who is financially profiting from the Grenfell fire, and taking away resources and support for the true victims."