Apprentice star Tre Azam has been found guilty of falsely claiming housing benefits.

Tre, who came third in Sir Alan Sugar’s reality show in 2007, was sentenced to 80 hours community service after being found guilty of having undeclared income, an undeclared change in circumstances and not declaring a bank account.

The 29-year-old described the prosecution by Epping Forest Council as “disgusting” and planned to appeal the judgment.

The case relates to housing benefits Tre received between July 2004 and July 2006.

Following the hearing at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court, Tre said he needed the cash to support his wife and child after his relatives moved to Pakistan following the collapse of the family business.

Charges were brought against him by Epping council fraud squad because his father had paid bills for him while he was on benefits, including food, mobile phone calls and car insurance.

Tre, of Loughton, Essex, said he had not done anything wrong and a council investigator had told him that it was not an offence to get financial support from his family.

He added: “I think it’s disgusting to be honest. I’m shocked because we were waiting to be cleared. I didn’t cheat anyone and I never intended to.”

He continued: “I do an incredible amount of voluntary work already, which I am now going to reconsider. I do a lot of work in schools.

“All I did was get myself off benefits. Not cheat a system. We’re not a benefit-reliant family. That is why I find it so frustrating.”

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