A former councillor convicted of a housing fraud against his own local authority has been struck off the roll.

Muhammad Harun, a former assistant solicitor with London firm Duncan Lewis, failed to disclose for more than seven years that he owned another property while continuing  his council house tenancy. 

Following hundreds of bids for a property, Harun had been offered social housing from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in 2010 but did not state he was the owner of the other property. It was calculated that the local authority lost almost £125,000 as a result of his actions.

In November 2019 at Snaresbrook Crown Court, he was convicted of two counts of dishonestly failing to disclose information to make a gain for self or another. He was jailed for 16 months and ordered to pay £17,500 towards the cost of the prosecution.

In his sentencing remarks, Judge Sanders noted that Harun had begun in modest circumstances and qualified later in life as a solicitor before being elected as a councillor in May 2018. The judge had added: ‘All of that self-improvement and your position has been cancelled out by these offences.’

Following his conviction, Harun agreed with the SRA that he should be struck off and that he should pay £1,510 costs. The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal approved this outcome, adding that he had engaged in a ‘serious pattern of dishonesty committed over an extended period’.

In mitigation not accepted by the SRA, Harun said he had failed his family, his former employer and the council. He added: ‘I have always conducted my professional work with honesty and sincerity, whether this was as solicitor or as an elected councillor. I stumbled in my personal life, but professionally I believe I had performed outstandingly.’