A WOMAN who appeared on ITV’s This Morning claiming she was one of the youngest people ever to have dementia was jailed today after defrauding £600,000 from her local council.
Laura Borrell was locked-up alongside her husband Philip, 两个都 45, after they scammed their way to a life of luxury in a massive benefits swindle.
The couple lived on huge benefits that were fraudulently claimed by Laura’s mother Frances Noble from Hertfordshire County Council.
Last month Noble, 66, was jailed in what the judge said was possibly the largest fraud of its type to come before the English courts.
St Albans crown court heard huge sums of benefits cash were passed onto Noble’s daughter and son-in-law, who then spent it on luxury holidays.
之间 2005 和 2018, Noble conned the council into believing she was bedbound and required intensive round the clock home care at her bungalow in Datchworth, near Stevenage.
She was even spotted in the lie by a neighbour who saw her walking her dog, while another videoed her walking around her back garden.
Prosecutor Andrew Johnson previously told St Albans Crown Court when a neighbour saw Noble in her back garden she pulled a hood over her face and said: “I am not Frances. I am her carer.”
Noble, of Damask Green Road, Weston, Hertfordshire, did not appear for her sentencing hearing in June having earlier pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation.
She moved to Berlin in 2019 with her daughter and son-in-law after the investigation began. A warrant has been issued for her arrest and extradition.
Laura and Philip, also of Damask Green Road, Weston, each pleaded guilty to money laundering after both accepting receiving £184,205. Laura accepted receiving another £39,700 and Philip £6,218.
The prosecutor said over a 13-year period, between August 1, 2005 and November 30, 2018, Frances Noble had obtained £624,047.15p.
Noble had been granted a ‘direct payment care package’, which allows people with disabilities, or their family members and friends, to choose carers and equipment and settle bills.
有一次, supposedly bed-ridden Noble was seen being pushed in a wheelchair by her daughter around the Bluewater Shopping Centre.
Noble, who had claimed she had been on a liquid diet, was also filmed eating with her daughter in a restaurant.
On a separate occasion, a care worker turned up at her home to find her standing up, naked in the bathroom, washing her hair.
Noble was jailed for 4 年 9 月, while Laura was locked up for 3 年 9 months and Philip for 4 年 3 月.
While the money went into a single bank account intended solely for the purpose of direct payment to carers, by the most generous definition less that £100,000 was spent on care, said Mr Johnson.
The prosecutor said: “Funds that were paid to her were funds that would have been used to support the residents of Hertfordshire.”
Noble had “dishonestly and deliberately” lied to social workers.
Mr Johnson said: “The central lie was the suggestion that she was bed-bound for a very significant period.
“But it is quite plain, she was simply not bed-bound. She misled the local council and many others, including her treating doctor.
“She claimed a variety of people were carers when they did nothing. She sent a number of emails from carers. Those emails had nothing to do with them (the carers) they were fake emails.
“She spun a web of lies to everyone she came into contact.”
One social worker said it was unusual for a person who had been bed ridden for many years not to have deteriorated because of her inability to move.
This is possibly the largest fraud of its type to come before the English courts
Judge Richard Foster
When neighbours reported her, Noble claimed to her Housing Association and the police that she had been the victim of harassment and hate crimes.
She even persuaded the Housing Association to raise the height of her fence to prevent her being caught out again.
The investigators also found a video she made inside her home in June 2013. She was walking around and filmed herself in a mirror.
Judge Richard Foster said: “The cost of social care is an enormous burden on the tax payer.”
The judge said almost a third of the money had gone to her daughter and son-in-law and £184,000 into Noble’s personal bank account.
The judge said: “You made believe you were bed-bound. You spun a web of lies and deceit including sending emails purporting to be from carers’.
The judge paid tribute to Hertfordshire County Council’s Philip Juhasz who led the investigation.
A proceeds of crime hearing will be at a later date.
A spokesperson for Hertfordshire County Council said: “Mrs Noble, her daughter and her son-in-law undertook a sophisticated and devious fraud that shamelessly sought to deceive health and social services professionals over a sustained period of time.
“The trio’s offences were planned, calculated and carried out with the intention of abusing a care system designed first and foremost to meet the requirements of those in need of support.