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Northampton woman sentenced for fraud in the US

A woman from Northampton has been sentenced in the United States for fraud today.

Paul Dunham, 59, and Sandra Dunham, 58, pleaded guilty in December last year after losing their High Court fight against extradition the previous April.

The couple admitted to conspiring to commit wire fraud in connection with a scheme in which they requested reimbursement from their employer for mortgage payments on time shares in Barbados, luxury bedding for their home, a dog sofa and other personal expenses, the US Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland said.

Mr Dunham also pleaded guilty to money laundering.

According to their pleas, the defendants worked for Pace Worldwide which was located at various times in Maryland and North Carolina, and had a subsidiary in the United Kingdom named Pace Europe Ltd.

Pace produced parts for the repair and reworking of electronics for the military and others.

Mr Dunham held a number of executive positions, including president and chief operating officer. Mrs Dunham was initially hired to work for the European subsidiary in the accounts department, and eventually became the director of sales and marketing for Pace Worldwide.

The Dunhams moved from the UK to Maryland then North Carolina, and were provided with corporate credit cards.

Between 2002 and 2009, they fraudulently charged personal expenses to their corporate credit cards and submitted vouchers to Pace for reimbursement that falsely described the expenditures as business expenses, the statement said.

As a result of the lengthy scheme, one million dollars in actual losses were incurred.

The couple were flown to the US from Heathrow Airport in May. They were taken to Northampton General Hospital after taking a drug overdose the night before they were due to hand themselves in to police and in turn to US marshals.

Senior District Judge Howard Riddle at Westminster Magistrates' Court concluded that they had deliberately taken an overdose to avoid or delay extradition.

Later the couple, from Northampton, were handed over to US marshals at Heathrow by officers from the Metropolitan Police's extradition unit.

Mrs Dunham and the US government agreed that if the court accepted the plea agreement, she would be sentenced to 60 days . Today the judge accepted that. That means with the time she's already served Mrs Dunham will serve another 18 days before heading back to the UK.

Mr Dunham faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the conspiracy and money laundering. He'll be sentenced at a later date.

Paul and Sandra Dunham Credit: ITV News Anglia


Conmen rob elderly couple

An elderly couple in their 70s from Essex have been tricked out of nearly £25,000 by thieves who posed as detectives.

They were asked to withdraw money from three bank accounts and were also conned into buying an expensive watch. The couple were told by the thieves that they would be working undercover for the police as part of a fraud investigation. Couriers were sent on three seperate occasions to collect the money from their home in the Blackmore area near Chelmsford.

The men police are looking for feature in the CCTV below

Woman admits 'faking' cancer

A woman from Essex conned friends and strangers out of thousands of pounds of donations, goods and services by falsely telling them she had terminal cancer

Police were called when 21-year-old Danielle Watson from Rowhedge near Colchester couldn't prove her illness to fundraisers.

At Southend Crown Court the prosecution made the point that the case coincided with the death, from cancer, of actress Lynda Bellingham.


Fraudster sent back to jail

Mohammed Wasi Sheikh Credit: Bedfordshire Police

A benefit and mortgage fraudster has been sent back to prison after failing to pay his Confiscation Order under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Mohammed Wasi Sheikh, formerly of Northview Road in Luton, was sentenced to 15 months in prison in February 2010.

He had also been ordered to repay money to the state through a Confiscation Order, which he has failed to do. As a result he is now beginning a further 21months in prison.

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