Not agreeing with her lifestyle but what's that saying? those close to you can really F up your life.
Benefits cheat thief who drove a £144,000 Bentley and lived in a six-bedroom home enjoyed lavish foreign holidays with £1million made from handbag thefts
- Dawn Simon, 51, made up to £1million stealing cash and jewelery
- She also devised a benefits scam with her nephew to live in a luxury home
- But her scheme fell apart when her partner, Peter Harvey, reported her to police after a row
- She was jailed for three years today at Maidstone Crown Court
Guilty: Dawn Simon was sentenced to three years in prison today at Maidstone Crown Court
A benefits cheat and handbag thief who lived in a six-bedroom home with a swimming pool and drove a £144,000 Bentley has been jailed.
Dawn Simon, 51, made up to £1million stealing cash and jewellery, but was today sentenced to three years in prison at Maidstone Crown Court.
She had been living a life of luxury funded by the proceeds of her thefts, while also claiming benefits for the house in Iwade, Kent.
She used her stolen cash to buy sports cars and a holiday villa in Florida, as well as booking lavish holidays to Dubai, Las Vegas and New York.
But her scheme fell apart because her partner tipped off police to her life of crime when the two had had an argument.
Peter Harvey, 50, who was also jailed for a year, went to the police station in Sittingbourne, Kent, after the dispute in November 2011 and revealed that his partner was 'on the fiddle'.
High life: Simon was able to use her stolen cash to go on luxurious holidays
Flash cars: Simon's criminal life allowed her to pay for this silver Mercedes
A police investigation then revealed that Simon had devised a fraudulent scheme to live in her lavish house at the taxpayer's expense, as well as uncovering evidence of her thefts.
The court heard that she convinced her nephew, 29-year-old Daniel Wade, to pose as a mortgage applicant for the six-bedroom home, despite being unemployed. The pair forged payslips and other documents which allowed Wade to secure a £379,000 mortgage on the house.
Simon moved in under a bogus tenancy agreement, which she then used to claim benefits to cover the rent of living in the property. Meanwhile, she was giving Wade huge amounts of cash to meet mortgage payments.
Police soon uncovered her false claims, which included housing benefit, council tax benefit and child tax support.
But she would make he lion's share of her cash in London, where she would wait for victims at ATM machines.
She watched people enter their PIN, then following them through the streets and stealing their handbags. She could then use their cards to drain their bank accounts, as well as taking any valuables inside.
Cash: This photo, showing piles of stolen cash, was found on Simon's phone
International lifestyle: Simon, who would jet off to destinations such as Dubai and Las Vegas, also amassed a sizable amount of foreign currency, pictured
When police searched Simon's home they found that she had kept many of the handbags and their valuable contents, rather than throwing away the evidence.
Investigators also found digital cameras, mobile phones and a range of jewellery. They estimate that she had stolen between £500,000 and £1million in total.
She was arrested in March 2012 along with Harvey and Wade. In May this year a jury found them guilty of four counts of fraud, one count of conspiracy to launder money, and one count of conspiracy to possess criminal property.
At the sentencing today Wade was also jailed for three years for his part the crimes, while Harvey received a one-year sentence.
A Kent Police spokesman said: 'Two men and a woman who were able to fund a lavish lifestyle from a complex mortgage and benefit fraud have been sentenced to a total of seven years.
'They came to the attention of police on 8 November 2011 after Peter Harvey attended Sittingbourne police station after a domestic dispute and reported that his partner Dawn Simon, had fraudulently acquired her home address by encouraging her nephew Daniel Wade to pose as a mortgage applicant.
Big spender: Simon, pictured here posing in a showroom, spent £144,000 on a convertible Bentley SS
Justice done: But police repossessed the sports car, and are setting about reclaiming the rest of her assets
'At the same time, Simon was fraudulently claiming benefits, including child tax support, whilst living a cash rich lifestyle which boasted luxury jewellery, holidays to Dubai, Las Vegas and New York and numerous vehicles including a £140,000 Bentley SS.'
Detective Constable Stewart Walker said: ‘Dawn Simon’s lifestyle of expensive jewellery, holidays and expensive cars was funded entirely on the back of other people’s misery.
'Simon was a compulsive thief who’s continued stealing of handbags and purses not only cost people the money they physically carried, but also their treasured items such as personal mementos and a vast number of family photos, as well treasured jewellery valued at up to £500,000.
'Her actions around spotting victims at cash points and following them shows a deep level of premeditated and ingrained criminality.
'Not only was she stealing from victim’s handbags and purses, but she was also using the tax payer to fund her six bedroom house with a pool - money she just wasn’t entitled to.
'Peter Harvey and Daniel Wade knew the full extent of the crimes being committed and enjoyed the windfalls that came with them, which included Harvey, a long term benefit recipient being able to spend over £40,000 on watches alone.
'I’m pleased with these sentences - the evidence was overwhelming and this should send a clear message that crime does not pay.'