A GRANDMOTHER had admitted to stealing almost £50,000 from her estranged husband after being duped in an online scam.
Patricia Passman, 59, stole the money from her husband as he slept after being tricked by a fraudster who pretended to be her boyfriend.
She was fooled into sending Amazon vouchers and stolen cash to her online lover in America after falsely believing they would begin a relationship.
El miércoles, Teesside Crown Court heard that Patricia stole nearly £50,000 from her husband Tim, despite them splitting up after 40 años de matrimonio.
The estranged couple still lived and worked together as Patricia was the secretary for her husband’s company.
Prosecutor Jenny Haigh told the Tribunal that Passman admitted stealing £22,650 from her husband’s personal bank account and £24,050 from his business account.
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Ms Haigh said that Passman stole the money from her husband, quién es 66, over a two year period from January 2019 a enero 2021.
The swindle left her husband in “financial ruin, with tax bills and accountancy fees to pay” as he believed he had at least £70,000 in his bank account.
The situation was so severe that the prosecutor said his family have been staying with him due to concerns over the effect the cruel fraud has had on him.
Patricia, now of Redcar, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft at an earlier hearing.
The court heard that the grandmother had five previous convictions dating back years, including drugs offences and shoplifting.
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Passman’s lawyer, Thomas Bennett, said that she had admitted to stealing the cash from her husband, but always made sure there was enough for his direct debits.
Mr Bennett said that Patricia is embarrassed and ashamed of what she has done, and that his client is “naive and certainly not streetwise.”
“She herself was exploited herself, having fallen victim to an online scam” él agregó.
Mr Bennett said that she would pay her former husband back if she had the funds to do so – but the court heard Patricia has no assets, works part time, and claims Universal Credit.
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Judge Jamie Hill said: “Over two years you stole £46,700 from two accounts – one in your husband’s name and one was his business account.
“It seems you thought you were engaged in a relationship with somebody in America.
“In fact you were involved in a scam. It seems you were living in some sort of bubble.
“You took your husband’s financial welfare from him. This has clearly had a devastating impact on your husband – quién es 66. He has gone from financial security to dealing with debt.”
Passman was handed an 18-month prison term, suspendido por dos años, junto a 200 horas de trabajo no remunerado.