Oslo: City Council politician sentenced to prison for welfare fraud amounting to 760,000 kroner

Danny ChaudhryPhoto: Erlend Aas / Scanpix
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An Oslo City Council representative has been sentenced to nine months in prison for defrauding the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) of NOK 760,000. The man confessed to the fraud in court.

The man who has now been convicted is 59-year-old Danny Chaudhry, an independent representative in Oslo City Council.

Between April 2014 and December 2016, Chaudhry received a total of NOK 762,000 in disability pension, disability benefits, and child supplements while working as a driving instructor at his own traffic school.

“Committed with intent”

“The fraud was committed with intent… He knew that he was not entitled to these social security benefits, and that he received them because he did not fulfill his duty to provide information,” the judgment from Oslo District Court states.

In court, Danny Chaudhry made an unreserved confession. 

However, before he confessed, he first denied criminal guilt in two police interrogations. 

According to the verdict, the case was launched following tips from the public.

“The whole case is based on the fact that the defendant had a significant illegal cash turnover, which he kept out of his accounts. The criminal affair lasted for a long period, almost two years, and was initially not easy to uncover,” the verdict states.

He was also accused of giving a false explanation in connection with the reports to NAV, but Chaudhry was acquitted on this point. 

Danny Chaudhry’s defense attorney, Zulifqar Munir, will review the verdict with his client later on Thursday.

“I think the sentence is strict,” Munir told news bureau NTB.

He said that he would discuss with Chaudhry whether to appeal the verdict.

A long career in politics

Chaudhry has a long career in politics in Oslo, and he is currently an independent representative in Oslo City Council.

He was elected for the People’s Action No to More Road Tolls (Folkeaksjonen nei til mer bompenger) during the local elections last year but resigned from the party shortly afterward. 

He has previously been a politician for the Liberal Party, the Green Party, and the Socialist Left Party.

He did not sit on the City Council during the period when the NAV scam was going on.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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