A woman who cared for an elderly man ‘breached her position of trust’ and conned him out of tens of thousands of pounds.Advertisement
Toni Chippendale, 56, of Whitby Avenue, Ingol, was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to offences of theft and fraud.
She was arrested in March 2013 after allegations about her role as a carer for 87-year-old Geoffrey Cooke.
Mr Cooke’s family suspected large sums of money were withdrawn from his bank account.
After an investigation by police they discovered Chippendale became a third party signatory on Mr Cooke’s bank account in 2000.
His home in Greyfriars Crescent, Fulwood, was sold in December 2006 for £176,000.
Chippendale helped organise the sale and transferred the money into her account.
A day later, Chippendale transferred £73,000 back to Mr Cooke’s bank account – the sum the victim believed his property had sold for.
Following enquiries, police discovered the 56-year-old had also been overcharging the victim for her services as a carer.
Officers arrested Chippendale and she was later charged with offences of theft and fraud.
A financial investigator at Lancashire Police – and later a forensic accountant – reviewed the offender’s complex financial arrangements, helping to gain an acceptable guilty plea prior to trial.
Chippendale admitted to taking £74,000 as part of the house sale and a further £25,000 in overcharging for care services.
Sadly Mr Cooke passed away in 2015, before Chippendale admitted her guilt at Preston Crown Court.
Detective Constable Robert Kirkham, of Lancashire Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “Chippendale’s offences showed a horrendous breach of her position of trust and sadly, since she was charged, Geoffrey has now passed away and so will never see justice being done.
“Chippendale targeted a vulnerable man and used her position as carer to influence and take advantage of him.
“The offender showed a callous disregard for the victim, suggesting she was helping him to move home before pocketing proceeds of the sale for herself.
“In a further act of betrayal, she then started to overcharge the man for her role as carer.
“The vast majority of carers are decent, hardworking people who act in a responsible and appropriate manner.
Temp Det Sgt Scott Griffin, of the Economic Crime Unit, added: “While Chippendale has been sentenced today, we believe she worked as a carer for other people in the Preston area at the time of these offences.
“If you suspect you’ve been a victim of these types of crimes, please contact Lancashire Police on 101. We take all reports of this nature seriously.”
At sentencing a timetable was set for a Proceeds of Crime Confiscation to recover assets and money obtained as a result of Chippendale’s criminality. The 56-year-old’s financial assets are subject to a restraining order.
Any recovered assets will go towards compensating the victim’s relatives.