Three members of a family have been convicted of fraud after swindling a local authority out of PS734,000 by faking a neurological condition to claim a care package for 12 years.
Husband and wife Laura and Philip Borrell – who once appeared on This Morning to discuss dementia – along with Mrs Borrell’s mother, Frances Noble, conspired to commit fraud by convincing Hertfordshire County Council that Ms Noble, 66, had a brain disorder.
The trio, from the village of Weston, near Hitchin, succeeded in accessing a ‘direct payments care package’ worth PS733,936. 20 from the council between August 1, 2005 and November 30, 2018, according to The Comet. It is thought to be the biggest fraud ever perpetrated against a local authority.
Husband and wife Laura and Philip Borrell – along with Mrs Borrell’s mother, Frances Noble – conspired to commit fraud by convincing Hertfordshire County Council that Ms Noble, 66, had a brain disorder. Above, the couple appeared on This Morning in 2017 to discuss her own struggle with dementia
Philip and Laura Borrell (pictured in 2017) and her mother were this week convicted of fraud after swindling their local authority out of PS734,000 by faking a neurological condition to claim a care package for 12 years
Care packages such as the one they received are meant for those who need assistance in paying for their own care and support services – but the Borrells and Noble kept the money for themselves.
Neighbours started to become suspicious after noticing that although Mrs Borrell did not appear to work, they saw a huge number of packages arrive at her house.
One resident said The Times : that delivery vans arrived all day… and that she ordered lots of things, including money. ‘
Another said that there were Amazon vans arriving every day. Then, this new Volvo top-of the-line arrived. Then you thought, “What does he do?” You wondered, “What does he do?” ‘
Hertfordshire county council then began a fraud investigation after carers became suspicious that Noble was exaggerating the extent of her needs.
Subsequently, the Borrells were accused of assisting the pensioner by laundering the proceeds of her crime.
All three – who have lived in Germany for the past few months – were due to stand trial at St Albans Crown Court on Wednesday, April 27 after pleading not guilty in June 2020.
They changed their pleas to guilty this week and are due to be sentenced on June 24. Frances Noble remains in Berlin and denies any wrongdoing, even though the Borrells have returned to the UK 10 days before the court hearing. According to The Times, the pensioner claimed that they were trying to end a case in which they have run out of money.
Meanwhile, in 2017, Mrs Borrell – then aged 39 – appeared on This Morning, where she was introduced by hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield as ‘one of the youngest people to be diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia’. She told them that she had received the terrible dementia diagnosis, but it was difficult to get doctors to treat her with seriousness.
Borrell stated that doctors were puzzled at her condition and assumed she was too young for dementia. She told them she was being ‘hysterical.
Above, The Borrells. The pair, and Noble – who have lived in Germany for the past few months – were due to stand trial at St Albans Crown Court on Wednesday, April 27 after pleading not guilty in June 2020. They changed their pleas to guilty this week and are due to be sentenced on June 24
Appearing alongside her husband, Borrell said: ‘I thought I was absolutely going crazy. They were [neurologists], so cruel and rude that they called me a “hysterical white woman.”
Laura described how she was unable to continue her education and had to quit. She also explained that she became a bit scared to go out of the house because she felt confused, forgetful, and struggled with her speech.
In June 2015, she said that tests revealed she had frontotemporal degenerative dementia – a condition very rarely seen in anyone under the age of 65. The family started fundraising to allow her one more road trip before she lost her memories.
Mrs. Borrell stated that her dementia symptoms got worse, and she quit her University of London law degree. She still had two years of coursework to finish.
Unan Chudhury was a lawyer who represented Laura and said to The Times she denied any wrongdoing in relation to her dementia.
He stated that she has had to deal with severe neurological conditions in her past, and is still suffering from them now. For her different conditions, she is currently receiving specialist care. ‘