Lutfur Rahman: Disgraced former Tower Hamlet mayor 'misled' mortgage companies, says judge

Mr Rahman failed to declare rental incomes and provided 'misleading information' to mortgage companies

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The Independent Online

The disgraced former mayor of Tower Hamlets, who was barred from office over corruption, misled mortgage lenders and failed to declare income to the taxman, according to a judge. 

Lutfur Rahman, who hopes to return to politics, failed to declare rental incomes and provided “misleading information” to mortgage companies, a judge ruled.  

Mr Rahman was removed from office in April after an election court found him guilty of corruption and illegal practices, following a challenge to his re-election by four voters.

The former mayor was ordered to pay legal costs of £500,000 to the people who initially accused him of corruption. But he failed to do so, declaring himself bankrupt in November, leading to the hearing yesterday after his accusers applied for charges on his two properties.

Chief Master Marsh found that Mr Rahman and his wife Ayesha Farid failed to declare any rental income from Mr Rahman’s buy-to-let properties since 2005.

The judge said in a judgment: “Both Mr Rahman and his broker must have been aware that they were providing misleading information to the two proposed lenders and furthermore that the details of Mr Rahman’s earnings were being considered by both lenders on the assumption that there was to be no other loan.”

Ayesha Farid had said in court that she owned her husband’s two properties, but was called “a thoroughly unsatisfactory and unreliable witness” with a “cavalier attitude to disclosure” by the judge.

“The rental incomes for both properties were paid into Mr Rahman’s bank account and the outgoings for the properties were paid by him,” Chief Master Marsh said. “Neither he nor Mrs Rahman declared the rental income to HMRC.”

The developments came after Mr Rahman’s bid to overturn convictions for electoral malpractice and a five-year ban on running for office were rejected by two senior judges earlier this week. 

Mr Rahman was de-selected as Labour Party candidate for Tower Hamlets mayor in 2010 but ran as an independent and won in a low-turnout election. His re-election in May 2014 had been declared void by election commissioner Richard Mawrey last April.