A HOUSING fraudster is today facing £40,000 in fines after failing to declare ownership of a string of properties - including one in Grays.

Fadimana Altinsoy, 45, was granted £28,000 in benefits from the council, which she used to buy a home in Basildon.

But she failed to mention she jointly owned houses in Forest Gate, East London, and Grays.

During a series of trials Altinsoy continuously denied any wrongdoing.

In a series of appearances before magistrates courts her pleas did not change.

But they eventually did, to guilty, on the first day of a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.

The trial had been set to last for six days.

Epping Forest District Council granted her tenancy of a property in Chigwell, Essex, on January 22, 2007.

The day after moving in Altinsoy requested an upgrade, from a flat to a house.

This was despite now having claim to three homes altogether.

If the council was aware of her other homes, she would have not been granted an additional property.

On June 18, 2010, she applied for a home ownership grant to help her purchase a private property.

She eventually received one of six grants worth £28,000 - in the form of a so-called homeowners grant.

She used the lump sum of money to buy a home in Basildon the following year.

Again, the council had not been made aware of her other homes.

She owed these alongside family members, and if they had been been declared, she would not have given a grant of any kind.

When the authorities finally caught up with Altinsoy, she repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

She pleaded not guilty at Chelmsford Magistrates Court last February to three counts of fraud and one of money laundering - meaning the case was set a trial date.

But on the first day of the trial, which had been scheduled to last six, on January 22 this year she changed her mind and pleaded guilty.

After the hearing in January Ms Altinsoy agreed to pay the sum of home ownership grant £28,000 back to the council.

She was also ordered to pay the prosecution costs of £12,500 and a sentence hearing was fixed for March 9, this year.

On that date she was given a two-year suspended sentence.

Alongside the suspended sentence, she was ordered to complete 200 hours unpaid work with a probation supervision order for 12 months.

Altinsoy was convicted of three offences under the Fraud Act 2006 and Money Laundering under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.