A family from England fooled the social welfare office into thinking their mother was bedridden and thus stole over 730,000 euros. Now the mother, daughter and son-in-law have been sentenced to prison.

A family from the county of Hertfort in England apparently shamelessly exploited the welfare system there. Between 2007 and 2018, they claimed that Frances N.’s mother was bedridden, unable to support herself and in need of around-the-clock care.

For more than 10 years the matter was not noticed. Finally, she was observed and filmed as the woman, who was actually bedridden, walked around and accepted and unpacked packages. The authorities then initiated an investigation into the care allowance.

Earlier this year, Frances N. was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison at St Albans Crown Court. At this point, she is said to have defrauded the authorities of the equivalent of more than 730,000 euros. The payment is said to have gone into the bank account of the “dependant” so that she can pay the bills of caregivers and family members directly.

Couple also collected donations for themselves

But that was probably not enough: In 2017, her daughter Laura B. went on a TV show on British television with her husband Philip B. The couple gave a detailed interview there on breakfast television. There they claimed that Laura B. was one of the youngest people ever to suffer from dementia. The couple had also set up a GoFundMe page where viewers could donate money towards one “last trip” before Laura B. lost her memory.

Laura B. was sentenced to three years and nine years and her husband Philipp B to four years and three months in prison on Tuesday. The judge who convicted the couple of money laundering and fraud spoke of a “sophisticated crime”. According to the judge, this is probably the largest fraud of its kind ever dealt with in an English court.

Sources: The Guardian, OE24