Brierfield charity boss admits fraud charge

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court

A Brierfield charity boss who falsely claimed thousands of pounds from County Hall for disabled children in her care has been slammed by council chiefs as “morally reprehensible.”

Feeraz Begum (45), of Reedley Road, was in charge of Caring Today, providing play sessions for youngsters in Burnley and Pendle, when she carried out the fraud over a two-year period between 2009 and 2011.

Fraudulently claiming large sums of money that should have been spent on children with disabilities is morally reprehensible and I welcome the outcome of this case

County Coun. Matthew Tomlinson

Begum had been on trial at Preston Crown Court accused of conspiracy to defraud and two allegations of furnishing false information to Lancashire County Council. But, days into the trial, she admitted the alternative charge of fraud by abuse of position and furnishing false information.

County Coun. Matthew Tomlinson, Cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “The county council has robust audit and monitoring systems in place and it was our officers’ investigations that brought this criminal activity to light.

“We then involved the police who conducted their own investigations which ultimately led to this successful prosecution. Fraudulently claiming large sums of money that should have been spent on children with disabilities is morally reprehensible and I welcome the outcome of this case.”

After Begum’s admission, six other defendants involved in the case were found not guilty on the direction of the judge. Her husband Mohammed Fayyaz (50), also of Reedley Road, and her brother Mohammed Nawaz (43), had also been accused of conspiracy to defraud. Care worker Asima Parveen (30), of Camden Street, Nelson, was cleared of a charge of furnishing false information.

Fahat Afsar (41), of Kelswick Drive, Nelson, Anam Iqbal (25), of York Street, Nelson, and Sarah Irshad, formerly of Nelson, now of Buckinghamshire, were cleared of money laundering offences.

Begum will be sentenced on November 24th.