News

Wheel clamping victims to get pay-out after successful case

5 June 2019
Convicted fraudsters who ran a rogue wheel clamping business have been ordered to pay more than £17,000 in compensation to their victims following a successful proceeds of crime case by Thurrock Council.
John Challinor, 57, of Albert Street, Harwich, and Edward Blundell, 78, of Coles Oak Lane, Dedham, were convicted of fraudulent trading in May 2016 for their part in running an unscrupulous company which clamped cars, vans and lorries across Thurrock.

Solicitors jailed thanks to Thurrock Council-led investigation

17 July 2018
A crooked solicitor and her partner have been jailed after being convicted of fraud and perverting the course of justice, thanks to Thurrock Council's national Counter Fraud and Investigation team.
Astrid Halberstadt-Twum – principal solicitor at the law firm Cleveland and Co Solicitors in Whitechapel, east London – and her husband Joseph Twum have been found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the Legal Aid Agency and of perverting the course of public justice. The pair were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday 10 July.

Fraud team success

6 February 2018
Thurrock Council's Fraud Service has uncovered and brought to justice a former housing officer after it was found she was helping people she knew unfairly access council housing.
Rachel Thomas, 31, of Gumley Close in Grays, pleaded guilty to manipulating internal records to help three people gain access to properties at Chelmer Housing.
The three who benefitted – Sara Kiel, Lisa Nelson and Billy Nelson – also pleaded guilty to fraud offences in relation to the housing applications they submitted to the council.

Thurrock's Fraud team recognised internationally

7 August 2017
Thurrock Council's Counter Fraud and Investigation department (CFID) were invited to talk via Skype as keynote speaker at the 7th Annual National Public Sector Fraud and Corruption Congress meeting last month (26 and 27 July).
The conference – held in Brisbane, Australia – invited the CFID manager to speak alongside Seto Bagdoyan, Director of Audit Services at the US Government Accountability Office – Forensic Audits and Investigative Service, and Shagen Ganason, Manager for Risk Advisory and Assurance Services from the Ministry of Social Development in New Zealand.

Operation Mulberry Success

7 July 2017
Thurrock Council's Trading Standards team has completed a 4-year counterfeit investigation involving 5 local people suspected of importing, manufacturing, distributing and selling counterfeit handbags, purses, clothing, perfume and accessories.
Officers interviewed all of the defendants and conducted a thorough investigation.