19 January 2018
Thirsk couple sentenced for social care fraud
A serious fraud detected by the council helped secure a successful prosecution with a couple from Thirsk each being sentenced to two years in prison.
A couple, aged 65 and 68, were found by City of York Council fraud and adult social care officers to have failed to declare £210,000. This should have gone towards the nursing care for the woman's mother, which the council was paying for.
Both had power of attorney for the mother who currently lives at a private nursing home paid for by City of York Council. These payments were on the understanding that when the mother’s home was sold, profits from it would repay the council and, depending on any remaining surplus, would continue to fund her care.
The couple sold the mother’s former home in York in January 2015 for £216,000. However, the sale was discovered by the council some 18 months later by which time the couple had spent £160,000 of this.
The council referred the case to North Yorkshire Police which worked with the council’s income, adult safeguarding and fraud investigation teams.
During the course of the investigation the couple were arrested and interviewed under caution by the police. They both plead guilty to offences of fraud by abuse of position.
They were sentenced on Friday 19 January at Teeside Crown Court. Following the sentencing, proceedings will begin by the Crown Prosecution Service to recover the stolen money.
Councillor David Carr, leader of City of York Council, said: "This demonstrates how the police and council work closely together to address fraud.