Couple jailed for their part in £600k con against Herts County Council
- Credit: Danny Loo
A Weston couple have been jailed for their part in a £600,000 fraud, for which the instigator was given a prison sentence last month.
Laura and Philip Borrell, both 45 - who appeared on ITV’s This Morning and lied about Laura being one of the youngest people ever to have dementia - lived the high life on benefits fraudulently claimed by Laura's mother, Frances Noble, from Hertfordshire County Council.
Last month, Noble, 66, was given a prison sentence of four years nine months for what the judge said was "possibly the largest fraud of its type to come before the English courts".
Yesterday, her daughter Laura was jailed for three years nine months and son-in-law Philip for four years three months, having pleaded guilty to money laundering.
Between 2005 and 2018, Noble convinced the council that she had a neurological condition so serious that she required intensive round-the-clock home care at her bungalow in Datchworth. She claimed more than £600,000 in benefits intended to help her live independently.
But she was seen by her neighbours walking her dog early in the morning and filmed by one as she walked around her back garden. Investigators watched as she took in a Tesco home delivery, which she was able to unpack.
St Albans Crown Court heard that tens of thousands of pounds of care package money from Herts County Council was passed to the Borrells, who went on luxury holidays in Canada, San Francisco, Boston and Orlando.
The couple, of Damask Green Road, accepted receiving £184,205. Laura accepted receiving another £39,700 and Philip £6,218.
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Noble has been living in Berlin since 2019 and did not appear for her sentence hearing in June, having earlier pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation.
She had moved to Germany with her daughter and son-in-law after the investigation began. A warrant has been issued for her arrest and extradition.
A spokesperson for HCC said: "The Borrells actively deceived This Morning and appeared on the show with Holly and Phil to claim that Mrs Borrell was the youngest person in Great Britain with dementia.
"Through Proceeds of Crime Hearings, the council will be attempting to force the sale of the Borrells’ home."
The council added that since the fraud came to light, staff within the adult social care teams have undergone specific training in relation to identifying fraud.