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UK woman claimed she faked illness to claim benefits of over Rs 5.7 crore

The fraud came to light after Noble was spotted by her neighbours walking her dog Bertie early in the morning.

June 27, 2022 / 01:54 PM IST
Frances Noble was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison. (Representative image)

Frances Noble was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison. (Representative image)

A woman from UK who claimed she was bedridden to swindle care package benefits of more than £600,000 (about Rs 5.7 crore) has been sentenced to jail. According to the judge who presided over the case, it was possibly the largest fraud of its kind to come before the country's courts.

Between 2005 and 2018, 66-year-old Frances Noble convinced Hertfordshire County Council that her condition was so serious that she needed intensive, round the clock care at her bungalow in Hertfordshire.

Then, Noble passed on the money she received as a part of the care package, to her daughter and son-in-law who went on to luxury North American holidays in San Francisco, Orlando, Boston and Canada.

The fraud, however, came to light after Noble was spotted by her neighbours walking her dog Bertie early in the morning. One of them even took a video of her walking around her back garden.

When investigators were informed about the incident, they kept an eye on her to find Noble receiving a delivery at home when she was supposed to be bed ridden and under intensive care.

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According to a report in Mirror, Prosecutor Andrew Johnson told the court that over a 13-year period, between August 1, 2005 and November 30, 2018, Frances Noble had obtained £624,047.15. He added that when a neighbour saw her in the garden she pulled a hood over her face and said: "I am not Frances. I am her carer."

Noble, who has been living with her daughter and son-in-law in Berlin ever since the investigation began in 2019, did not appear for in court where she was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison. But, a warrant would be issued for her arrest and extradition, Mirror reported.

Noble's daughter and son-in-law too have pleaded guilty to money laundering and accepted receiving £184,205. They are due to be sentenced next month after probation reports have been prepared.

The couple were both in court to hear the prosecutor open the case. Philip had to help Laura, who was walking with a stick, into the dock.

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first published: Jun 27, 2022 12:53 pm
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