Fraudster family who appeared on This Morning faked illness to scam council of £734,000
A FAMILY of fraudsters who swindled a local council out of almost £800k by faking a neurological condition for 12 years are facing jail.
Married Laura, 44, and Philip Borrell, 47, swindled Hertfordshire County Council out of hundreds of thousands of pounds for a care package.
Frances Noble, Laura’s mum, was also in on the scheme to convince the local authority that the 66-year-old had a brain disorder.
Phil and Laura, from Hitchin, Herts, appeared on This Morning to discuss dementia in 2017, while they were conspiring to commit fraud.
The trio have pleaded guilty to fraud after conning the council out of £733,936.20 between 2005 and 2018 – keeping the money for themselves.
They had been due to stand trial at St Albans Crown Court last week, but changed their pleas to guilty at the last minute and will be sentenced on June 24 according to The Comet.
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It is believed to be one of the largest frauds ever committed against a local authority.
Care packages are meant for those who need assistance in paying for their care and support services.
But the family kept the cash for themselves, with neighbours becoming suspicious after a huge number of packages arrived at the house.
One resident told The Times: “Delivery vans all day long… ordering lots of stuff, like money was no object.”
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Another added: “There were Amazon vans coming every single day. And then this brand new top-of-the-range Volvo arrived.
“You started thinking, what does he do? What does she do?”
Hertfordshire County Council launched a probe after carers became suspicious that Noble was exaggerating how much help she needed.
Her daughter and son-in-law were then accused of assisting the pensioner by laundering the ill-gotten gains.
All three moved to Germany, but the Borrells are understood to have returned to the UK before their court hearing.
However pensioner Noble remains in Berlin and continues to deny any wrongdoing, claiming that her guilty plea was in an effort to bring the case to an end as they are running out of money.
Laura and her husband went on ITV show This Morning in 2017 alongside Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield to discuss her dementia diagnosis.
She told them she'd received the devastating dementia diagnosis but that it had been a battle to initially get doctors to take her seriously.
Borrell said doctors were baffled by her condition, assuming she was too young to have dementia, and told her she was being “hysterical”.
She claims that the family began fundraising so that she could have one final trip with her husband before the memories were “taken away.”
Unan Choudhury, a lawyer representing Laura, said that she denies any allegation of wrongdoing relating to the dementia.
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He told The Times: “She has suffered with serious neurological illnesses in the past and continues to suffer with illnesses now.
"She is receiving specialist treatment for her various conditions.”
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