Three fraudsters who played their part in conning an elderly woman out of half a million pounds, were handed confiscation orders at Bradford Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 15 December 2016).
Wendy Bell, 59, and Lisa Bell, 32, both from Cullingworth, Bradford, and Linda Mynott, 62 from Keighley, have been ordered to pay back money they gained via their criminal activity. The confiscation order was obtained by North Yorkshire Police (NYP) under the powers of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
The three women were originally sentenced for their crimes, along with three other women, in February 2015. The group of “carers” grossly inflated care charges for their victim, a 91 year old woman with Parkinson’s disease from Skipton. Over a two year period, they charged the victim up to £40,000 a month.
None of the women had any qualifications for looking after a person with Parkinson’s disease, they did not receive any training, none had had any legal checks and none paid tax or National Insurance on their earnings.
The group’s criminal activity was eventually uncovered when the community matron raised concerns when she discovered the amount of money the victim was paying for her care.
Wendy Bell was given an order for £139,000, Lisa Bell was handed an order for £11,833.20 and Linda Mynott’s order was for £21,021.47. All have three months to pay the money back.
Confiscation orders have previously been obtained for the other three offenders. The total amount recovered by NYP POCA Confiscation orders in this case is £184,622.53 – all of which will be paid back to the victim as compensation.
At the hearing yesterday, the financial investigator in this case, Katharine Wells, and the Officer in the case, DC Shane Martin, were both commended by the judge.
Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon, Head of Fraud and Economic Crime at North Yorkshire Police said:
This was a truly shocking case of financial abuse. The behaviour of these women was despicable. It is bad enough to take advantage of an elderly vulnerable woman and provide her with a dreadfully poor standard of care. But to then take her money in the way that they did is unforgiveable.
In cases such as this, we will not rest following sentencing after a trial. Our Financial Investigation Unit will continue to fight for every penny possible to pay back the victim, and ensure criminals do not benefit financially from their crimes.
Anyone who thinks they can target the elderly and vulnerable is such a way and get away with it is very much mistaken. We will find you and make you face the consequences of your actions.