Tag Archives: fraud

Woman jailed after death of 23-month-old Harry Aspley

Photo: Scales of JusticeA woman has been jailed after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of a 23-month-old boy who was in her care.

Wendy Hardy, 46, appeared at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday (Monday 25 January) where she was sentenced to five years and four months in prison after admitting the offence at an earlier hearing.

In addition, she was also sentenced for fraud by failing to disclose information, between 15 November 2012 and 2 September 2013, after pleading guilty at a previous hearing.

The charge relates to claiming payment of more than £27,000 for fostering two children who were not in her care at the time.

She was handed an additional 14 month custodial sentence for this crime, to run consecutively.

The sentencing follows the death of Harry Aspley who was admitted to hospital on 26 March 2013 after becoming unwell at his home in Stoney Stanton, Leicestershire.

He died in hospital six days later, on 1 April 2013, after doctors identified he had sustained a non-accidental head injury that was consistent with being shaken.

A police investigation was launched following his death and Wendy Hardy, who was his foster mother at the time, was charged with manslaughter.

Detective Superintendent Neil Castle, who led the investigation, said:

“This was a difficult and lengthy inquiry which followed the tragic death of a young child who had been entrusted in the care of foster parents.

“Our enquiries not only centred on the death of Harry but also looked into money that was claimed for fostering children who were no longer in her care – totalling £27,460.

“On the morning of 26 March 2013, Harry was being looked after solely by Wendy Hardy when he sustained the injuries that led to his death and while the full events of what happened that day have not been disclosed by Wendy, I hope that her guilty plea and subsequent sentencing will bring some closure for Harry’s wider family network and all those involved in the case.”

Wendy Hardy, of Greedon Rise, Sileby, was also charged with child cruelty, namely neglect of Harry Aspley, between 28 December 2012 and 26 March 2013. This charge is to lie on file.

David Hardy, 36, of Hinckley Road, Stoney Stanton, had also pleaded guilty to an offence under the Proceeds of Crime Act, relating to the fraudulent claim for foster care.

He was given a 21 month sentence, suspended for two years, during the same hearing at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday.

A charge of child cruelty, namely neglect between 28 December 2012 and 26 March 2013, is to lie on file.

Countesthorpe benefit cheat to repay benefits after investigation

Blaby District LogoA benefit cheat is to repay nearly £8,000 after pleading guilty to dishonesty charges.

Christopher Phipps, 56, of Rosebank Road, Countesthorpe, was sentenced at Leicester Magistrates Court on Thursday 7 January after receiving £7,869.80 in housing benefit and local council tax reduction between February 2013 and January 2015 while not declaring earned income.

The investigation was carried our after a data match to prevent and detect fraud, which compared information held between local authorities and the HMRC.

The court heard there were two occasions when Mr Phipps had contacted the council and made false statements regarding his financial position.

Mr Phipps was given a 12-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay £350 in costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Blaby District Council is recovering the £7,869.80 that was overpaid while Mr Phipps will also be subject to Loss of Benefit provisions. These provisions enable the Secretary of State to apply a sanction to benefits.

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance, Efficiency & Assets, said:

“This case once again demonstrates the importance of declaring true circumstances when claiming benefit and reporting any changes as they take place.

“Failure to do so may lead to a criminal record and could have an impact on future claims.”

Suspected benefit cheats can be reported online at www.gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud or by calling the DWP National Benefit Fraud Hotline on 0800 854 440.

All calls are free and confidential.

Rogue email purports to be sent from Leicestershire Police

KeyboardBusinesses and residents in Enderby should be aware that there is an email in circulation that appears to have been sent from a legitimate Lancashire Constabulary email address.

The email appears to come from ‘Lyn Whitehead’ and is asking the recipient to pay an invoice that is attached to the email.

The email has not been generated from inside the Constabulary or by the Constabulary.

This email has not been sent from Lancashire Constabulary. A third party supplier to the Constabulary has had their data breached, as a result of the breach this Lancashire Constabulary email address has been spoofed and used to generate spam to recipients far and wide.

This type of email is commonly referred to as spam, and if you have received it you MUST NOT open it. Instead delete it from your email system to avoid infecting your device.

Protect Yourself:

  • Do not click or open unfamiliar links in emails or on websites
  • Make sure you install and use up-to-date anti-virus software
  • Have a pop-up blocker running in the background of your web browser
  • If you have opened the attachment and ‘enabled macros’ it is very likely that all your personal data will have been breached. You MUST change all your passwords for personal accounts, including your bank accounts.

If you believe you have become a victim of this get your device checked over by a professional.

If you think you have been a victim of this type of email you should report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre. www.actionfraud.police.uk

If you do make a report please provide as much detail as you can about the email and any effects it has had on your computer. Additionally if your Anti-Virus software detects any issues in relation to this email please provide us with the details.

More information can be found on Lancashire Constabulary website
http://www.lancashire.police.uk/news/2015/october/email-virus-alert.aspx
You can get more advice on this by visiting the following websites:

The most common Internet Scams are updated on http://www.cyberstreetwise.com/common-scams

National Fraud Intelligence Bureau warns ‘beware of Cape Verde scam’

Action Fraud Alert logoThe National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has been alerted to a pension scam whereby cold callers continue to target members of the public aged 50 to 60 years old to release and transfer their pension early.

Suspected firms who advertise and arrange pensions are offering investments in alternative commodities such as hotel developments or property in Cape Verde, and operate as unregulated collective investment schemes.

Often, the cold calling ‘pension companies’ involved are neither regulated nor qualified to give financial advice and classify themselves as a ‘trustee’, ‘consultant’ or an ‘independent advisor’ and offer exceptionally high return rates for investors.

Some victims have signed documents that authorises a limited company to be set up using their personal details, including utilising a Small Self–Administered Scheme (SSAS). Whilst SSAS accounts and limited companies are essential for legitimate schemes, the fact that victims are unaware that this will happen suggests that the scheme may not have been fully explained to them, increasing the likelihood that there may be an element of fraud involved.

Protect yourself:

Further advice can be found at:
http://www.fca.org.uk/your-fca/documents/protect-your-pension-pot
http://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/financial-services-products/pensions/protect
http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/individuals/dangers-of-pension-scams.aspx

Ensure that you request that the risks and growth rates are explained and that you fully understand them before transferring your pension

Check whether the pension arrangement company is registered with the FCA. Registered companies can be checked using the FCA register online at: https://register.fca.org.uk/

Remember that if the offer seems too good to be true, then it generally is

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

Enderby pensioner convicted for benefit fraud

benefit fraud theftAn Enderby resident has been sentenced to a two-year conditional discharge in the first case of benefit fraud under a new data-matching system at the council.

Anthony Fuller, 72, of Sloane Close, Enderby was the first person prosecuted by Blaby District Council following the introduction of data matching ‘Real Time Information’ (RTI) from HM Revenues & Customs against benefit data.

Following an ‘RTI’ data match it was found that since July 2008, Mr Fuller had been in receipt of an annuity that had not been declared to the council’s Benefits Section. As a result, benefits of £7,220 had been overpaid.

Mr Fuller pleaded guilty to three charges of dishonestly failing to declare the receipt of a private pension and was sentenced at Leicester Magistrates Court on Thursday 1 October 2015.

Mr Fuller was handed the two year conditional discharge, ordered to pay £200 costs and a £15 victim surcharge. As well as receiving a criminal record, the overpayment is being recovered by Blaby District Council.

Cllr Terry Richardson
Cllr.Richardson: important cheats are caught and prosecuted

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance and Efficiency, said:

“Hopefully this latest prosecution will send out a message to those who know their claims aren’t correct.

“This successful prosecution was achieved using the latest data matching techniques which will identify other fraudsters who may have also previously escaped detection.

“It is important these cheats are caught and prosecuted thus ensuring that public funds are safeguarded and only used for those in genuine need.”