Woman fakes cancer to get money from family & friends, leaving grandparents 'homeless and skeletal'
When Shirley and John Pinder decided to raise granddaughter Asha Dawes, they did it without any further interest more than keeping her safe and in a loving environment. But she paid betrayed their trust, conning them and stealing around $150,000 from them.
Asha Dawes, from West Sussex, took advantage of her grandparents to fund her lavish lifestyle and even a trip to the United States with her innocent son. The woman defrauded the people who raised her and took care of her without any sense of guilt.
She started to steal money at 17 when she convinced her grandparents of moving their money to a high-interest savings account to help with their retirement. She had control over the account and would often transfer to her own without her naïve grandparents knowing.
Soon after, she forged documents to pretend she had been diagnosed with cancer and told her family she was waiting for a medical negligence payout. Then, she said to her grandparents that the payout had been delayed and asked them for a loan from their retirement savings.
SHE SENT THEM TO SPAIN
But since she didn’t have how to repay the loan, she created another fake story and convinced the elderly couple that their eldest son was being pursued by HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) and that they needed to sell their house and leave the country or it would be confiscated.
The 22-year-old had her way, and her grandmother’s house was sold in November 2014. She then sent her grandparents to Spain, but not before transferring some of the money from the house’s sale to her account.
Whit that money, she pretended to pay the previous loan her grandparents gave her, and she tricked them into believing that, if they checked their balance, HMRC would track down the movement and freeze their money.
THE FINAL STRAW
She told the family she had a few months left to live and convinced her grandparents to give her another loan of £5,000 for experimental cancer treatment in the USA.
In 2016, Shirley and John ran out of money. Dawes created fake emails and accounts to make the couple believe HMRC had frozen their accounts. Unemployed and unable to pay for medications, Shirley and John reached a deplorable status. It was then that the family started to suspect something was off.
Nicholas Young, Dawes’ uncle, visited his parents in Spain and said he was shocked by their status. “The cupboards were bare, and they weren’t far from death,” he said. “We’ve lost money, security, time, sense of family, peace of mind.”
BRINGING JUSTICE TO THE TABLE
Dawes was arrested in August 2017, and to the disbelief of her family, she admitted her crimes.
In total, the woman ripped her family off almost $150,000. She was sentenced to four years in jail after admitting three counts of fraud.
“One of the saddest parts of this investigation was that even after Shirley and John discovered Asha stole the proceeds of their house sale, they were still looking for the money Asha claimed she had moved into a high-interest savings account,” said Detective Constable Noel Simmonds.
“They loved her, trusted her, and they could not believe that she had taken so much for so long. It was several days after Asha’s arrest that they realized she had stolen the money for the savings account too.”
Asha’s actions are deplorable, and her family, especially her loving grandparents, were left devastated. Through the whole ordeal, they confessed they were only looking out for their granddaughter’s welfare.
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