A fraudster who faked having terminal cancer and scammed a vulnerable couple out of £230,000 to pay for her "lavish" lifestyle has been jailed.
Haydee Daniel, 55, was described by detectives as having "no remorse" after taking advantage of a couple with a sick child.
The victims said that the loss of the money represented the theft of their security, aspirations for the future and their child's wellbeing.
Daniel befriended the Islington couple, with a young ill child, in 2019 and showed off her "lavish" lifestyle, telling them she could get them four cheap properties from Barclays with a made-up contact.
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 contact then told them that they should send money to a bank account set up by Daniel.
They were assured that 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, which came to a total of £230,496, into the “ring-fence account”.
Daniel would spend it almost immediately on luxury rentals and goods, or send it to other people she knew.
The victims were left destitute and heavily in debt.
They said the constant stress and anxiety caused by Daniel’s actions had affected every aspect of their life.
Daniel also lied to the victims by telling them 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.
The 55-year-old had actually been cured of her cancer in the 1990s and was at the time of the offence, and still is, cancer-free.
The phone location of the fictitious contact showed it had always been used in the vicinity of her home address,
When examining Daniel’s phone they also discovered that both she and the contact left the WhatsApp group with the victims two hours before her police interview.
Despite her attempts to cover her tracks, officers were able to recover over 1,000 pages of WhatsApp messages between the victims and Daniel.
Police Constable Evan 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 through. 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.”
Daniel, of Valley Road, Henley-on-Thames, was found guilty on Tuesday, 24 October following a four-week trial at Wood Green Crown Court.
She was sentenced to four and a half years in prison.
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...