Apprentice candidate Tre Azam has been charged with falsely claiming thousands of pounds in benefits.

Tre, who accused fellow contestants on the hit BBC1 reality show of ‘lacking integrity’, is currently in court for allegedly claiming housing and tax benefits while running his consultancy firm, according to reports in The Mirror.

The entrepreneur, who came third in Sir Alan Sugar’s business challenge series last year, was unemployed when he legitimately started claiming benefits and was paying rent on a £250,000 semi-detached house he shared with wife Semina and his son, the court has heard.

But Epping Forest council fraud squad claim that between October 31, 2005 and August 29, 2006, Tre started receiving money through his marketing consultancy firm IDMM Ltd, representing clients such as Certus Sales and Optoma Europe.

Investigators allege that Tre never disclosed those earnings and continued to receive benefits, falsely claiming more than £7,500.

They also claim that Tre has two accounts in the names of family members which he never informed them about.

Prosecutor Giles Atkinson said: “These accounts were in the names of his father and wife… but he used them to pay his mobile bill, his car insurance as well as everyday items such as food and clothing.”

Tre denies failing to declare income and two accounts on a housing and tax benefits form and failing to reveal a change of circumstances.

The Chelmsford JP case was adjourned until Friday.