Former Hertfordshire County Council employee convicted of fraud

The 45-year-old appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Friday

Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 1:18 pm

A former employee of Hertfordshire County Council has been convicted of fraud after abusing his position by submitting false invoices.

Balraj Rai, 45, of Tamar Close, Stevenage, pleaded guilty to four counts of Fraud by False Representation when he appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Friday (11).

The court heard how a manager at the county council reported her concerns of false invoices to the Shared Anti-Fraud Service while auditing her team’s budget.

Courts stock image

An investigation found that Mr Rai, an employee of Hertfordshire County Council, had submitted four invoices for his own company totalling £2,316 using his company’s headed paper, for work he had not been commissioned to undertake.

He admitted that he had done so purely to create the illusion that his company had completed design works for the council in order to gain financially.

Mr Rai pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and repaid the debt prior to his court appearance.

On Friday he was sentenced to 16 weeks custody suspended for 12 months in addition to an order to carry out 100 hours unpaid work in the community. He was also ordered to pay £1,595.66 costs plus a victim surcharge of £150.

Councillor Ralph Sangster, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “This individual operated dishonestly and fraudulently to make a financial gain for himself.

“Thankfully, the swift actions of the manager made sure that he was brought to justice.”

Anyone with information about any fraud against the council, including housing, Council Tax or Blue Badge fraud can report it online or by calling the Shared Anti-Fraud Service hotline on 0300 123 4033.