Dawn Simon jailed for 'lavish lifestyle' fraud

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Media captionDawn Simon amassed a fortune through fraud, bogus benefit claims and pick-pocketing

A woman who funded a lavish lifestyle through "deeply entrenched dishonesty" has been jailed for three years.

Dawn Simon, 51, of Sheerstone, Iwade, Kent, amassed a fortune through fraud, bogus benefit claims and pick-pocketing Maidstone Crown Court was told.

At her trial in May she faced charges of fraud, conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to possess criminal property.

Judge Philip St John Stevens described Simon as "dishonest and greedy".

He said it was impossible to quantify the amount of money she had amassed through criminal activity.

Holidays and expensive cars

He told her: "You are a prolific and professional pick-pocket with a deeply entrenched dishonest and lifestyle. Almost every aspect is tainted by dishonesty."

Kent Police said Simon came to their attention when her partner, Peter Harvey, 50, of Rotherbury Walk, Tottenham, north London, told officers during a domestic dispute she had fraudulently acquired her home by getting her nephew Daniel Wade to pose as a mortgage applicant.

Image caption Kent Police seized luxury items including a £140,000 Bentley SS from Dawn Simon

The force said she and Wade forged documents and payslips to qualify for the £379,000 mortgage and then Simon lived at the home under a bogus tenancy agreement with Wade.

Det Con 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.

"Not only was she stealing from victims' handbags and purses, but she was also using the taxpayer to fund her six-bedroom house with a pool - money she just wasn't entitled to."

Harvey was jailed for a year for conspiracy to convert criminal property and conspiracy to possess criminal property, while Wade received a three-month sentence for fraud.

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