A benefit fraudster from West Molesey who used tens of thousands to fund his mortgage has been given a suspended sentence and must carry out unpaid work.

Sarfraz Ali, of Eastcote Avenue, admitted to conspiring with his late father Akal Ali to claiming Housing Benefit for rental charges that did not exist.

His father received £41,876.96 that he was not entitled to from Elmbridge Council between November 2006 and Janurary 2012, then transferred the money to his wife’s bank account to be used for their son’s mortgage payments.

Ali, 41, was sentenced at Guildford Crown Court on December 5 to 20 months in prison, suspended for two years, and 200 hours of unpaid work.

Elmbridge Council is also pursuing him under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover the money.

Councillor Roy Green, cabinet member for Housing, said “While the overwhelming majority of benefit claimants in Elmbridge are trustworthy and honest, I hope this serves as reminder to the small minority that are not, that such fraud and dishonesty will not be tolerated. We must all work hard to make sure that public funds are allocated only to those who are genuinely entitled.”