An investigation has uncovered and led to the prosecution of a £16,200 theft by a son from his elderly parents.
Carried out by Veritau on behalf of the City of York Council and North Yorkshire Police, the investigation found that the son of a York couple in their 90s, had stolen money from them in 2013.
On 3 July 2018, the couple’s son pleaded guilty to four charges of theft totalling £16,200 from his parents over a seven month period. Last week (13 August 2018), York Crown Court sentenced him to 15 months imprisonment.
The investigation was triggered by City of York Council officers finding that the couple’s assets had rapidly depleted shortly after an assessment which showed they were able to fund their own care.
In mitigation, the son’s defence claimed he had had a previously good character and had served in the RAF for 36 years.
His Honour Judge Worsley QC told the defendant: “You were in a position of trust and you breached that.”
Judge Worsley also described how he used the money he stole from his parents to pay off his mortgage, clear credit card debts and fund holidays.
Councillor Helen Douglas, City of York Council’s executive member with responsibility for fraud, said: “This sentence reflects the severity of that breach of trust and will hopefully deter others by demonstrating the consequences of abusing vulnerable people in our society.”
Commenting on the sentence Financial Investigator Paul Dowsland of North Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit said: “The man’s parents trusted their son to take care of their finances in their later years of life.
“Instead, he abused their trust by conducting fraudulent activity over a sustained period of time for his own personal gain.
“We worked tirelessly with Veritau to investigate this case and make sure that he was made to realise the immorality of his crimes.
“The sentence reflects how serious this crime is and serves as a reminder to those entrusted with such responsibility yet choose to abuse it, that they will be brought to justice.”
If you are a victim of fraud and the crime is in action, or if you are in danger, always dial 999. In a non-emergency call North Yorkshire Police on 101 or report it to Action Fraud by visiting https://actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
More advice on how to keep safe from fraud can be found at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/fraud
If you have any information regarding those responsible for such crimes, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit https://crimestoppers-uk.org/
Anyone with any information on suspected fraudulent activity should phone the fraud hotline on 0800 9179 247 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.