A woman who funded a “lavish and extravagant lifestyle” by scamming a couple with a sick young child out of more than £230,000 has been jailed.
Haydee Daniel, 55, convinced the couple to send her money while acting as a fake contact at Barclays bank.
Wood Green Crown Court heard that she had initially befriended the couple in 2018 and told them that she could get them cheap properties through a contact at the bank.
Daniel, acting as the fake contact, convinced the victims that their credit ratings were too low to purchase the properties and that she would have to act as their guarantor.
She then told the victims that they would have to prove that they had enough money to pay off the mortgage during periods when they were not earning, the court heard. The contact then told them that they should send money to a bank account set up by Daniel.
The couple was assured that the money would be ring-fenced and then returned to them once the contact was satisfied that they would be financially able to pay back any loans.
The contact convinced them to make several payments in to the “ring-fenced account”. These payments came to a total of £230,496.
Daniel used the funds to pay for luxury rentals or goods, or sent it to other people she knew.
The victims were left destitute and heavily in debt to their family, who they had borrowed money from, believing it would be available again once the deal went through.
Daniel was sentenced to four and a half years in jail at Wood Green Crown Court on Thursday following a four-week trial at the same court.
As part of her elaborate plan, the court heard how Daniel had lied to the victims that she had cervical cancer and only had 18 months to live. She claimed that she wanted to help them make a better life for themselves before she died.
In reality, Daniel had been cured of cancer in the 1990s and was cancer-free.
Investigating officers were able to prove the fake bank account belonged to Daniel as their phone was only ever used in the vicinity of her home address.
WhatsApp messages recovered by officers between Daniels and the victim showed hat the couple believed they would receive four properties after sending over money.
In an impact statement, the victims said their financial loss represented the “theft of their security, aspirations for the future, and their child’s well-being”.
Daniel’s actions had caused “constant stress and anxiety” and affected “every aspect” of their life, they added.
PC Evanâ¯Mcloughlin, from the Met’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “The impact of this crime on the victims is absolutely shocking. Daniel masterminded a sophisticated and convincing investment fraud to take advantage of vulnerable victims on a large scale.
“The money was used to fund a lavish and extravagant lifestyle, showing complete contempt for the victims.
“Daniel felt no remorse for what she put the victims though. She even tried for more than three years to postpone her trial by faking numerous medical conditions at great expense to the National Health Service.”