1 Sep 2016

Benefit fraud was part of thief's repertoire

The half-sister of a baron who funded a lavish lifestyle from a complex mortgage and benefit fraud has been ordered to pay back more than £565,000.

Compulsive thief Dawn Simon, of Sheerstone, Iwade, stole jewellery worth up to £500,000 in a string of street pickpocketings.

The 54-year-old half-sister of Baron Ouseley, chairman of the football anti-racism Kick It Out campaign, was found to have benefited to the tune of £599,304.

Maidstone Crown Court heard her realisable assets totalled £565,478, which included her Iwade property and a £140,000 Bentley car, now said to be worth £51,000.

Simon, who has been released from a three-year jail sentence imposed in September 2013, was given three months to pay the amount or face a further three years and eight months in prison. If she does default, she will still have to pay the amount under the order made by Judge Charles Macdonald QC.

Simon came to the attention of police when her lover, Peter Harvey, then 50, went to Sittingbourne police station after a domestic dispute. He told officers Simon had acquired her home fraudulently by encouraging nephew Daniel Wade, 29, to pose as a mortgage applicant.

Under the scam in which Wade secured the £379,000 mortgage, they forged personal documents and payslips. The property was then occupied by Simon under a bogus tenancy agreement with Wade.

At the same time, she was fraudulently claiming benefits, including child tax support, while living a lavish lifestyle.

She enjoyed luxury jewellery, holidays to Dubai, Las Vegas and New York as well as numerous cars – including the Bentley.

An investigation also found Simon had been paying the mortgage payments for Wade on the property – despite not being in full-time employment.

Simon targeted victims at cash machines before making a note of their PINs and following them, then stealing their purses before draining their bank accounts. Police also found stolen mobile phones, digital camera memory cards, and jewellery.

Simon was arrested with Wade, of Holloway, north London, and Harvey, of Tottenham, north London, in March 2012. Wade was also jailed for three years, while Harvey was sentenced to a year.

A jury convicted the three of a string of theft and fraud offences.


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