Woman who pretended to be adoption worker jailed for elaborate £50,000 redundancy scam

A woman has been jailed for two years and eight months after she tricked her friend to take redundancy in an elaborate scam and left her £50,000 out of pocket.

Helen Dove, 31, met Kimberley Baker, 43, at a riding school in St Helens, Merseyside, in January 2017 and pretended to be an adoption worker when Ms Baker told her she wanted to pursue a career in child safeguarding.

Ms Baker went on to leave her job when Dove (pictured) said she could help with an employment application.

Dove then created an elaborate web of lies for the next seven months as she pretended to be 15 people in various roles at either Warrington Council or education watchdog Ofsted.

She doctored bank statements, forged contracts of employment and faked job interviews through numerous false email accounts, said Merseyside Police.

Her cash-strapped victim eventually sought other work as no job materialised but Dove prolonged the fraud as she persuaded her the start date had been delayed because of administrative errors and she would receive backdated pay.

Dove’s fraudulent activity came to light when her victim carried out checks after receiving a document and identified Dove as the person sending the letter, said police.

On Wednesday, Dove, of Prescot Road, St Helens, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court after she pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of fraud by false representation.

She must also pay Ms Baker £1,500 compensation and not contact her for 10 years.

Detective Sergeant Paul Kay said: “This was a really unusual case and I have never seen anything like it before in my career.

“Dove made no monetary gain from this but the victim suffered unnecessary disruption and a loss of salary by Dove’s ongoing actions.”

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