Wolverhampton councillor to stand trial over alleged £10,000 Covid-19 grant fraud

A councillor and his wife are due to stand trial later this year after allegedly committing fraud to claim £10,000 from a Covid-19 grant scheme.

Councillor Harman Banger
Councillor Harman Banger

Wolverhampton Councillor Harman Banger, 39, of Bilston Road, and his wife Neena Kumari, 37, also of Bilston Road, will stand trial at Walsall Magistrates Court on October 18.

They have both been charged over an alleged offence between March 1 and May 31 last year.

Both pleaded not guilty to a single charge of committing fraud by dishonestly making a false representation to obtain £10,000 under the UK Government Covid-19 Small Business Scheme when they appeared at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court in January.

A five-day trial has now been listed for Walsall Magistrates Court between October 18 and October 22.

Labour councillor Banger, who represents East Park on Wolverhampton Council, stood down from his role as the city’s economy cabinet member after the allegations emerged in June last year.

He was arrested by West Midlands Police in June “on suspicion of fraud offences” and was released pending a full probe.

He has also been administratively suspended from the Labour group in the city pending the outcome of an internal party investigation.

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