The ArgusCouncil chiefs probe near £6 million fraud claims (From The Argus)

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Council chiefs probe near £6 million fraud claims

The Argus: Council chiefs probe near £6 million fraud claims Council chiefs probe near £6 million fraud claims

COUNCIL chiefs are investigating allegations of fraud amounting to nearly £6 million within their housing department.

Town hall finance records show Brighton and Hove City Council is looking into payments made to property services company KEM.

KEM is owned by the brother of the council’s former head of housing Jugal Sharma. In January The Argus reported Mr Sharma had been temporarily relieved of his post during the same time the author- ity and police investigated allegations of fraud.

KEM Property Services had a 10-year-agreement with Brighton and Hove City Council to provide homes for the homeless, which is thought to be coming to an end.

The payments being investigated are worth £5.85 million. In the council’s unaudited accounts report, it notes: “A sibling of the Head of Housing is a Director of KEM. This related party transaction has not previously been disclosed by the authority in its financial statements.

“The amount of these transactions was £3.000m in 2013/14 and £2.852m in 2012/13.”

A source at the council said Mr Sharma, who is paid £82,500 a year, an interim replacement had been brought in to cover his position.

The 53-year-old took up his position as head of housing at the authority more than 10 years ago.

A council spokesman said: “The council is continuing to conduct an investiga- tion into the matter. We are unable to comment further on the details of the investigation.”

A spokeswoman from Sussex Police said: “This investigation is continuing. There have been no arrests at this stage and there are no developments to report.”

Comments (24)

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10:10am Thu 26 Jun 14

Valerie Paynter says...

This temp replacing Jugal Sharma will be costing the council £1,000 a day.

This was true a few years back when David Gray was a temp Director in charge of Repairs and Maintenance, etc. These fees typically go to a company which may or may not be set up by the person in the job and they pay themselves whatever from it.

This investigation has gone on long enough and is costing the council a bundle in payments to both Jugal Sharma and the temp.
This temp replacing Jugal Sharma will be costing the council £1,000 a day. This was true a few years back when David Gray was a temp Director in charge of Repairs and Maintenance, etc. These fees typically go to a company which may or may not be set up by the person in the job and they pay themselves whatever from it. This investigation has gone on long enough and is costing the council a bundle in payments to both Jugal Sharma and the temp. Valerie Paynter
  • Score: 27

10:28am Thu 26 Jun 14

Old Ale Man says...

Divide the figures by 10 and they will probably amount to an underpayment to the firm that are leasing propert to the homeless.
Ms Paynter, one needs to ask, why has this suspension gone on for so long?? Lack of, or no evidence against Mr Sharma may be??
Divide the figures by 10 and they will probably amount to an underpayment to the firm that are leasing propert to the homeless. Ms Paynter, one needs to ask, why has this suspension gone on for so long?? Lack of, or no evidence against Mr Sharma may be?? Old Ale Man
  • Score: -12

11:25am Thu 26 Jun 14

Quiterie says...

Valerie Paynter wrote:
This temp replacing Jugal Sharma will be costing the council £1,000 a day.

This was true a few years back when David Gray was a temp Director in charge of Repairs and Maintenance, etc. These fees typically go to a company which may or may not be set up by the person in the job and they pay themselves whatever from it.

This investigation has gone on long enough and is costing the council a bundle in payments to both Jugal Sharma and the temp.
Good point Val. I always find it staggering how much the Council wastes on these "interim replacements". There must be pretty senior officers who report into Jugal Sharma who are capable of filling the role (with 'acting up' payments). This is exactly what would happen in any normal non public sector company.

Or why is Geoff Raw (salary £125,000) who Jugal Sharma reports to not taking a more hands on role?

The Council need to live in the real world and realise money is tight these days.
[quote][p][bold]Valerie Paynter[/bold] wrote: This temp replacing Jugal Sharma will be costing the council £1,000 a day. This was true a few years back when David Gray was a temp Director in charge of Repairs and Maintenance, etc. These fees typically go to a company which may or may not be set up by the person in the job and they pay themselves whatever from it. This investigation has gone on long enough and is costing the council a bundle in payments to both Jugal Sharma and the temp.[/p][/quote]Good point Val. I always find it staggering how much the Council wastes on these "interim replacements". There must be pretty senior officers who report into Jugal Sharma who are capable of filling the role (with 'acting up' payments). This is exactly what would happen in any normal non public sector company. Or why is Geoff Raw (salary £125,000) who Jugal Sharma reports to not taking a more hands on role? The Council need to live in the real world and realise money is tight these days. Quiterie
  • Score: 37

11:40am Thu 26 Jun 14

Fight_Back says...

Quiterie wrote:
Valerie Paynter wrote:
This temp replacing Jugal Sharma will be costing the council £1,000 a day.

This was true a few years back when David Gray was a temp Director in charge of Repairs and Maintenance, etc. These fees typically go to a company which may or may not be set up by the person in the job and they pay themselves whatever from it.

This investigation has gone on long enough and is costing the council a bundle in payments to both Jugal Sharma and the temp.
Good point Val. I always find it staggering how much the Council wastes on these "interim replacements". There must be pretty senior officers who report into Jugal Sharma who are capable of filling the role (with 'acting up' payments). This is exactly what would happen in any normal non public sector company.

Or why is Geoff Raw (salary £125,000) who Jugal Sharma reports to not taking a more hands on role?

The Council need to live in the real world and realise money is tight these days.
I'm utterly amazed that someone has given you a thumbs down for what is a perfectly sensible suggestion !
[quote][p][bold]Quiterie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Valerie Paynter[/bold] wrote: This temp replacing Jugal Sharma will be costing the council £1,000 a day. This was true a few years back when David Gray was a temp Director in charge of Repairs and Maintenance, etc. These fees typically go to a company which may or may not be set up by the person in the job and they pay themselves whatever from it. This investigation has gone on long enough and is costing the council a bundle in payments to both Jugal Sharma and the temp.[/p][/quote]Good point Val. I always find it staggering how much the Council wastes on these "interim replacements". There must be pretty senior officers who report into Jugal Sharma who are capable of filling the role (with 'acting up' payments). This is exactly what would happen in any normal non public sector company. Or why is Geoff Raw (salary £125,000) who Jugal Sharma reports to not taking a more hands on role? The Council need to live in the real world and realise money is tight these days.[/p][/quote]I'm utterly amazed that someone has given you a thumbs down for what is a perfectly sensible suggestion ! Fight_Back
  • Score: 27

11:58am Thu 26 Jun 14

Man of steel says...

Why is there this con-tinual use of wron-gly hyph-anted words in art-icles writ-ten in the Ar-gus?
Why is there this con-tinual use of wron-gly hyph-anted words in art-icles writ-ten in the Ar-gus? Man of steel
  • Score: 18

12:16pm Thu 26 Jun 14

fredflintstone1 says...

When is this council going to take some meaningful steps to address the blatant nepotism and croneyism that pervades its operations? It's so obsessed by transgender rights etc. that everyday discrimination of this type in its schools for example is allowed to continue unchecked, and ordinary people are being excluded from having a realistic chance of getting jobs as a result. Perhaps this is something the Argus should be looking into?
When is this council going to take some meaningful steps to address the blatant nepotism and croneyism that pervades its operations? It's so obsessed by transgender rights etc. that everyday discrimination of this type in its schools for example is allowed to continue unchecked, and ordinary people are being excluded from having a realistic chance of getting jobs as a result. Perhaps this is something the Argus should be looking into? fredflintstone1
  • Score: 23

12:21pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Joshiman says...

A simple free Google company search :www.companycheck.co
.uk
JUGAL SHARMA
PERRYLANDS FARM LIMITED DISSOLVED
BN1 3LU

MR JUGAL SHARMA
BRIGHTON & HOVE SEASIDE COMMUNITY HOMES LIMITED

MR JUGAL SHARMA
SHARMA PROPERTY CO LIMITED DISSOLVED
Address Mini Icon NO POSTCODE AVAILABLE

Did anyone bother to check the company out.Its FREEEEEE and open to anyone to check any LTD company in the UK.

If the Council was run as a private company it would have gone bust.
A simple free Google company search :www.companycheck.co .uk JUGAL SHARMA PERRYLANDS FARM LIMITED DISSOLVED BN1 3LU MR JUGAL SHARMA BRIGHTON & HOVE SEASIDE COMMUNITY HOMES LIMITED MR JUGAL SHARMA SHARMA PROPERTY CO LIMITED DISSOLVED Address Mini Icon NO POSTCODE AVAILABLE Did anyone bother to check the company out.Its FREEEEEE and open to anyone to check any LTD company in the UK. If the Council was run as a private company it would have gone bust. Joshiman
  • Score: 20

12:43pm Thu 26 Jun 14

rolivan says...

Joshiman wrote:
A simple free Google company search :www.companycheck.co

.uk
JUGAL SHARMA
PERRYLANDS FARM LIMITED DISSOLVED
BN1 3LU

MR JUGAL SHARMA
BRIGHTON & HOVE SEASIDE COMMUNITY HOMES LIMITED

MR JUGAL SHARMA
SHARMA PROPERTY CO LIMITED DISSOLVED
Address Mini Icon NO POSTCODE AVAILABLE

Did anyone bother to check the company out.Its FREEEEEE and open to anyone to check any LTD company in the UK.

If the Council was run as a private company it would have gone bust.
It is better to check KEM Property Services Limited good article written by Brighton and Hove Independent
[quote][p][bold]Joshiman[/bold] wrote: A simple free Google company search :www.companycheck.co .uk JUGAL SHARMA PERRYLANDS FARM LIMITED DISSOLVED BN1 3LU MR JUGAL SHARMA BRIGHTON & HOVE SEASIDE COMMUNITY HOMES LIMITED MR JUGAL SHARMA SHARMA PROPERTY CO LIMITED DISSOLVED Address Mini Icon NO POSTCODE AVAILABLE Did anyone bother to check the company out.Its FREEEEEE and open to anyone to check any LTD company in the UK. If the Council was run as a private company it would have gone bust.[/p][/quote]It is better to check KEM Property Services Limited good article written by Brighton and Hove Independent rolivan
  • Score: 12

12:43pm Thu 26 Jun 14

rolivan says...

Joshiman wrote:
A simple free Google company search :www.companycheck.co

.uk
JUGAL SHARMA
PERRYLANDS FARM LIMITED DISSOLVED
BN1 3LU

MR JUGAL SHARMA
BRIGHTON & HOVE SEASIDE COMMUNITY HOMES LIMITED

MR JUGAL SHARMA
SHARMA PROPERTY CO LIMITED DISSOLVED
Address Mini Icon NO POSTCODE AVAILABLE

Did anyone bother to check the company out.Its FREEEEEE and open to anyone to check any LTD company in the UK.

If the Council was run as a private company it would have gone bust.
It is better to check KEM Property Services Limited good article written by Brighton and Hove Independent
[quote][p][bold]Joshiman[/bold] wrote: A simple free Google company search :www.companycheck.co .uk JUGAL SHARMA PERRYLANDS FARM LIMITED DISSOLVED BN1 3LU MR JUGAL SHARMA BRIGHTON & HOVE SEASIDE COMMUNITY HOMES LIMITED MR JUGAL SHARMA SHARMA PROPERTY CO LIMITED DISSOLVED Address Mini Icon NO POSTCODE AVAILABLE Did anyone bother to check the company out.Its FREEEEEE and open to anyone to check any LTD company in the UK. If the Council was run as a private company it would have gone bust.[/p][/quote]It is better to check KEM Property Services Limited good article written by Brighton and Hove Independent rolivan
  • Score: 9

12:44pm Thu 26 Jun 14

fredflintstone1 says...

Joshiman wrote:
A simple free Google company search :www.companycheck.co

.uk
JUGAL SHARMA
PERRYLANDS FARM LIMITED DISSOLVED
BN1 3LU

MR JUGAL SHARMA
BRIGHTON & HOVE SEASIDE COMMUNITY HOMES LIMITED

MR JUGAL SHARMA
SHARMA PROPERTY CO LIMITED DISSOLVED
Address Mini Icon NO POSTCODE AVAILABLE

Did anyone bother to check the company out.Its FREEEEEE and open to anyone to check any LTD company in the UK.

If the Council was run as a private company it would have gone bust.
Is it true that Perrylands Farm is subject to an agricultural occupancy clause, and yet it appears that neither Mr Jugal Sharma nor the tenant that the property was let to - a senior colleague of his in the housing department - actually work in agriculture? If not, what is being done about this?
[quote][p][bold]Joshiman[/bold] wrote: A simple free Google company search :www.companycheck.co .uk JUGAL SHARMA PERRYLANDS FARM LIMITED DISSOLVED BN1 3LU MR JUGAL SHARMA BRIGHTON & HOVE SEASIDE COMMUNITY HOMES LIMITED MR JUGAL SHARMA SHARMA PROPERTY CO LIMITED DISSOLVED Address Mini Icon NO POSTCODE AVAILABLE Did anyone bother to check the company out.Its FREEEEEE and open to anyone to check any LTD company in the UK. If the Council was run as a private company it would have gone bust.[/p][/quote]Is it true that Perrylands Farm is subject to an agricultural occupancy clause, and yet it appears that neither Mr Jugal Sharma nor the tenant that the property was let to - a senior colleague of his in the housing department - actually work in agriculture? If not, what is being done about this? fredflintstone1
  • Score: 16

12:46pm Thu 26 Jun 14

fredflintstone1 says...

rolivan wrote:
Joshiman wrote:
A simple free Google company search :www.companycheck.co


.uk
JUGAL SHARMA
PERRYLANDS FARM LIMITED DISSOLVED
BN1 3LU

MR JUGAL SHARMA
BRIGHTON & HOVE SEASIDE COMMUNITY HOMES LIMITED

MR JUGAL SHARMA
SHARMA PROPERTY CO LIMITED DISSOLVED
Address Mini Icon NO POSTCODE AVAILABLE

Did anyone bother to check the company out.Its FREEEEEE and open to anyone to check any LTD company in the UK.

If the Council was run as a private company it would have gone bust.
It is better to check KEM Property Services Limited good article written by Brighton and Hove Independent
It's in the issue dated 17th January 2014.
[quote][p][bold]rolivan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Joshiman[/bold] wrote: A simple free Google company search :www.companycheck.co .uk JUGAL SHARMA PERRYLANDS FARM LIMITED DISSOLVED BN1 3LU MR JUGAL SHARMA BRIGHTON & HOVE SEASIDE COMMUNITY HOMES LIMITED MR JUGAL SHARMA SHARMA PROPERTY CO LIMITED DISSOLVED Address Mini Icon NO POSTCODE AVAILABLE Did anyone bother to check the company out.Its FREEEEEE and open to anyone to check any LTD company in the UK. If the Council was run as a private company it would have gone bust.[/p][/quote]It is better to check KEM Property Services Limited good article written by Brighton and Hove Independent[/p][/quote]It's in the issue dated 17th January 2014. fredflintstone1
  • Score: 5

12:55pm Thu 26 Jun 14

gheese77 says...

Man of steel wrote:
Why is there this con-tinual use of wron-gly hyph-anted words in art-icles writ-ten in the Ar-gus?
no-idea
[quote][p][bold]Man of steel[/bold] wrote: Why is there this con-tinual use of wron-gly hyph-anted words in art-icles writ-ten in the Ar-gus?[/p][/quote]no-idea gheese77
  • Score: 7

1:53pm Thu 26 Jun 14

stevo!! says...

Man of steel wrote:
Why is there this con-tinual use of wron-gly hyph-anted words in art-icles writ-ten in the Ar-gus?
The same reason, probably, why *some* posters cannot spell correctly ;-)

"hyph-enated"
[quote][p][bold]Man of steel[/bold] wrote: Why is there this con-tinual use of wron-gly hyph-anted words in art-icles writ-ten in the Ar-gus?[/p][/quote]The same reason, probably, why *some* posters cannot spell correctly ;-) "hyph-enated" stevo!!
  • Score: 2

2:41pm Thu 26 Jun 14

s&k says...

We need the good people employed at the "coal face" in all public sector bodies to speak up and expose bad practice, fraud, wasting public money etc if they come across it.
We need the good people employed at the "coal face" in all public sector bodies to speak up and expose bad practice, fraud, wasting public money etc if they come across it. s&k
  • Score: 10

2:53pm Thu 26 Jun 14

straightasadye says...

Blame the council. Not difficult at the onset for them to undercover investigate whether there is nepotism within the ranks and if so monitor the situation "very" closely. .
Blame the council. Not difficult at the onset for them to undercover investigate whether there is nepotism within the ranks and if so monitor the situation "very" closely. . straightasadye
  • Score: 6

3:19pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Andy R says...

s&k wrote:
We need the good people employed at the "coal face" in all public sector bodies to speak up and expose bad practice, fraud, wasting public money etc if they come across it.
...but they'd have to know that they'd be believed, to know that action would be taken, and that they would suffer no personal detriment or victimisation...woul
dn't they......?
[quote][p][bold]s&k[/bold] wrote: We need the good people employed at the "coal face" in all public sector bodies to speak up and expose bad practice, fraud, wasting public money etc if they come across it.[/p][/quote]...but they'd have to know that they'd be believed, to know that action would be taken, and that they would suffer no personal detriment or victimisation...woul dn't they......? Andy R
  • Score: 10

4:03pm Thu 26 Jun 14

s&k says...

Andy R wrote:
s&k wrote: We need the good people employed at the "coal face" in all public sector bodies to speak up and expose bad practice, fraud, wasting public money etc if they come across it.
...but they'd have to know that they'd be believed, to know that action would be taken, and that they would suffer no personal detriment or victimisation...woul dn't they......?
This is true of course.
[quote][p][bold]Andy R[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]s&k[/bold] wrote: We need the good people employed at the "coal face" in all public sector bodies to speak up and expose bad practice, fraud, wasting public money etc if they come across it.[/p][/quote]...but they'd have to know that they'd be believed, to know that action would be taken, and that they would suffer no personal detriment or victimisation...woul dn't they......?[/p][/quote]This is true of course. s&k
  • Score: 6

4:04pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Morpheus says...

Confirms my view of Brighton. Weak and useless councillors who cannot control anything and corrupt and incompetent full-time staff.
Confirms my view of Brighton. Weak and useless councillors who cannot control anything and corrupt and incompetent full-time staff. Morpheus
  • Score: 12

4:08pm Thu 26 Jun 14

fredflintstone1 says...

Andy R wrote:
s&k wrote:
We need the good people employed at the "coal face" in all public sector bodies to speak up and expose bad practice, fraud, wasting public money etc if they come across it.
...but they'd have to know that they'd be believed, to know that action would be taken, and that they would suffer no personal detriment or victimisation...woul

dn't they......?
Yes, exactly - and if they can't have those assurances, then it's a clear failure of leadership. This isn't an isolated occurrence.
[quote][p][bold]Andy R[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]s&k[/bold] wrote: We need the good people employed at the "coal face" in all public sector bodies to speak up and expose bad practice, fraud, wasting public money etc if they come across it.[/p][/quote]...but they'd have to know that they'd be believed, to know that action would be taken, and that they would suffer no personal detriment or victimisation...woul dn't they......?[/p][/quote]Yes, exactly - and if they can't have those assurances, then it's a clear failure of leadership. This isn't an isolated occurrence. fredflintstone1
  • Score: 7

4:14pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Man of steel says...

stevo!! wrote:
Man of steel wrote:
Why is there this con-tinual use of wron-gly hyph-anted words in art-icles writ-ten in the Ar-gus?
The same reason, probably, why *some* posters cannot spell correctly ;-)

"hyph-enated"
I know dear, it was meant as a com-ment on Ar-gus spel-ling habits. Or should that be ha-bits?
[quote][p][bold]stevo!![/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Man of steel[/bold] wrote: Why is there this con-tinual use of wron-gly hyph-anted words in art-icles writ-ten in the Ar-gus?[/p][/quote]The same reason, probably, why *some* posters cannot spell correctly ;-) "hyph-enated"[/p][/quote]I know dear, it was meant as a com-ment on Ar-gus spel-ling habits. Or should that be ha-bits? Man of steel
  • Score: 1

6:23pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Lady Smith says...

fredflintstone1 wrote:
When is this council going to take some meaningful steps to address the blatant nepotism and croneyism that pervades its operations? It's so obsessed by transgender rights etc. that everyday discrimination of this type in its schools for example is allowed to continue unchecked, and ordinary people are being excluded from having a realistic chance of getting jobs as a result. Perhaps this is something the Argus should be looking into?
Erm... what do you mean: 'everyday discrimination of this type in its schools, is allowed to continue unchecked'?
Are teachers committing fraud with school funds?
Are pupils raiding the tuck shop till?
Sorry, I thought this was a story about possible fraud in the Housing Department, when it's obviously a story about....actually, I'm not sure what your point is.
[quote][p][bold]fredflintstone1[/bold] wrote: When is this council going to take some meaningful steps to address the blatant nepotism and croneyism that pervades its operations? It's so obsessed by transgender rights etc. that everyday discrimination of this type in its schools for example is allowed to continue unchecked, and ordinary people are being excluded from having a realistic chance of getting jobs as a result. Perhaps this is something the Argus should be looking into?[/p][/quote]Erm... what do you mean: 'everyday discrimination of this type in its schools, is allowed to continue unchecked'? Are teachers committing fraud with school funds? Are pupils raiding the tuck shop till? Sorry, I thought this was a story about possible fraud in the Housing Department, when it's obviously a story about....actually, I'm not sure what your point is. Lady Smith
  • Score: -3

10:53pm Thu 26 Jun 14

fredflintstone1 says...

Sorry you didn't understand the comment - many other people obviously did! My point is that there is a serious underlying issue here.

There should be zero tolerance of people in positions of authority, whether in the council or in local authority schools for example, employing or favouring their friends and family with contracts. As it stands, there are no effective checks in this regard.
Sorry you didn't understand the comment - many other people obviously did! My point is that there is a serious underlying issue here. There should be zero tolerance of people in positions of authority, whether in the council or in local authority schools for example, employing or favouring their friends and family with contracts. As it stands, there are no effective checks in this regard. fredflintstone1
  • Score: 7

12:14am Fri 27 Jun 14

wippasnapper says...

Doesn’t its surprise anyone that NO ONE have been arrested and NO ONE has been charged yet but all the wile Jugal Sharma is on suspension he’s still being paid and what of this contract with his brother why has that contract not been suspended if they have suspicions of fraud OR maybe this is just another ploy buy the council to take the attention away from the real reason 6Mill has gown a missing? Its happened before in the past.
Doesn’t its surprise anyone that NO ONE have been arrested and NO ONE has been charged yet but all the wile Jugal Sharma is on suspension he’s still being paid and what of this contract with his brother why has that contract not been suspended if they have suspicions of fraud OR maybe this is just another ploy buy the council to take the attention away from the real reason 6Mill has gown a missing? Its happened before in the past. wippasnapper
  • Score: 6

2:13am Fri 27 Jun 14

Zeta Function says...

How come there are no developments to report?

The Housing Department is responsible for housing people, maintenance of stock, rent collection.

It has failed and is failing to do this, fairly.

We need answers now,
How come there are no developments to report? The Housing Department is responsible for housing people, maintenance of stock, rent collection. It has failed and is failing to do this, fairly. We need answers now, Zeta Function
  • Score: 2
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