Finance officer sentenced for stealing over £400,000 from London Borough of Haringey

03/12/2015

Eight defendants involved in defrauding the London Borough of Haringey of over £400,000 have been sentenced at Southwark Crown Court today.

Ceyda Elkatme was the organiser of the fraud. While working as the Finance Officer for the London Borough of Haringey between May 2010 and October 2012 she defrauded the borough of £446,073.22. Abid Fostok, Mazar Khan, Iqbal Bablu, Tijen Kacakoglu, Aida Saykin, Nikos Kolas and Jihad Elkatme were convicted of money laundering contrary to section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 for allowing their bank accounts to be used to launder the money.

Howard Tobias, CPS London reviewing lawyer, said: "Ceyda Elkatme abused her position of trust as a finance officer to steal over £400,000 from the London Borough of Haringey.

"This money should have been used to pay people who care for vulnerable adults in the Borough. Instead Elkatme set up her co-defendants as carers on the council's system and paid money into their bank accounts. However, they never provided any services as carers. They paid the majority of the money back to Elkatme, taking a cut for themselves.

"Ceyda Elkatme's husband Jihad Elkatme also received money from the fraud, as well as managing the other money launderers and collecting money from them.

"This was a callous theft of public funds which should have been used to help those in need. Elkatme and the others were motivated by sheer greed in taking what was not theirs under the guise of providing a valuable service in the community."

Background

Convictions and sentences:

Pleaded guilty on 27th November 2014:

Ceyda Elkatme - 3.5 years imprisonment
Fraud by false representation

Tijen Kacakoglu - 12 months imprisonment
Entering into an arrangement contrary to section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Aida Saykin - 12 months suspended for 2 years with 250 hours unpaid work
Entering into an arrangement contrary to section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Nikos Kolas - 8 months suspended for 12 months 150 hours unpaid work
Entering into an arrangement contrary to section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Jihad Elkatme - 21 months imprisonment
Entering into an arrangement contrary to section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Found guilty on 10th August 2015:

Abid Fostok - 10 months imprisonment
Entering into an arrangement contrary to section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Mazar Khan - 12 months suspended for 2 years and 200 hours unpaid work
Entering into an arrangement contrary to section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Iqbal Bablu - 12 months suspended for 2 years 200 hours unpaid work
Entering into an arrangement contrary to section 328 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.