2 Apr 2015

8 months means 3 months as confiscation hearing stalled

A benefit cheat who claimed more than £20,000 despite having a fortune in a Swiss bank account has been released from prison after just three months.

Mother of two Caroline Foxley, from the Cotswolds, was sentenced to eight months in prison on January 19 for claiming benefits while she had about £250,000 stashed in a Swiss bank account.

The 59-year-old, who previously lived in Chipping Campden but is now of no fixed address, had insisted that the money belonged to the father of her children, Dr Kurt Mayer, and could not be touched due to his alleged links with the Mafia in Italy.

She was released from prison on March 27 and attended Gloucester Crown Court today for a confiscation hearing at which the prosecution alleged she had benefited from crime by about £275,000.

However, prosecutor Stephen Mooney said the Crown still has no information about how much money remains in her Swiss bank account so the court cannot yet rule on exactly how much will be confiscated from her under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Mr Mooney said that if she does not provide evidence about how much remains in her account the court can make an order confiscating the whole sum of about £275,000 from her.

Oh just get on with it. She obviously has reasons for not co-operating.

He reminded the court that the prosecution case at Mrs Foxley's trial last year was that she had put “something in the region of £250,000” into a Swiss bank account while claiming benefits and paying private school fees for her two children.

"The real issue now is how much money is left in the Swiss bank account," he said.

He said he understood that Oliver Wilmott, representing Mrs Foxley, had made “significant progress” in finding out how much is now in the account.

What does this mean?

Recorder Peter Towler agreed to adjourn the hearing until May 13 so that her Swiss bank assets can be discovered and an order made to confiscate the money.

In October last year a jury convicted Mrs Foxley of four offences of failing to notify Cotswold District Council of a change in her entitlement to benefits.

During the trial, Mr Mooney said: "She made a calm, calculated and rational decision to top up her already quite substantial income by making false claims for benefits. This is a thoroughly dishonest woman who decided to get money she knew she was not entitled to in the hope and expectation, and arrogance, that she would not be caught."

But these process-driven officials are still letting her take the law for a fool.


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