Two men and a property company face charges of fraud and corruption in relation to the work of the Brighton and Hove City Council Housing Department.
Sussex Police has said Jugal Sharma, 61, of Holland Road, Hove, Ashley Parker, 59, of Balfour Road, Ilford, Essex, and KEM Property Services Ltd, of Queens Road, Brighton, have been served with summonses to appear at Brighton Magistrates Court on Thursday 20 January.
According to a police statement Jugal Sharma is charged with making a fraudulent declaration to the council that he had no connection with any company supplying services to the council, and with six offences of corruptly accepting moneys from Parker and KEM as an inducement or reward for showing favour to that company in relation to the council’s affairs. Ashley Parker, with KEM, is charged with six offences of corruptly paying Sharma as an inducement or reward for his showing favour to the company in relation to the council’s affairs.
Sussex Police said the prosecutions, authorised by the CPS and the Attorney-General, follow an investigation by the Sussex Police Economic Crime Unit, into allegations of the improper awarding of council contracts worth more than £18 million between 2008 and 2013 to a property management company providing the homeless with temporary accommodation.
The police said its investigation followed an initial investigation by the council’s own internal audit team. Five other people interviewed under caution during the police investigation do not face any further action.