Woman admits string of fraud offences

A FRAUDSTER who stole more than £35,000 in 10 days from her unsuspecting victims' bank accounts was working for an organised crime gang to fund her heroin addiction, a court heard.

A FRAUDSTER who stole more than £35,000 in 10 days from her unsuspecting victims' bank accounts was working for an organised crime gang to fund her heroin addiction, a court heard.

Scheming Lindsay Simpson, 26, stole almost £20,000 in just two days in Bury St Edmunds, Sudbury and Stowmarket, purporting to being the account holder and using false passports and bank cards to back up her claims.

Just days later, she stole another £15,500 from accounts in Haverhill, Saffron Walden and St Ives in Cambridgeshire.

The court heard she showed all the "professional hallmarks" of a fraudster after targeting three separate account holders, who are believed to be from London.

Simpson claimed she was targeted by a gang and used in a "sophisticated manner" to commit the crimes.

Appearing before magistrates in Sudbury yesterday, Simpson, of Barton Le Clay, Bedfordshire, pleaded guilty to two counts of dishonestly obtaining money by false representation and asked for a further five offences to be taken into consideration.

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She also pleaded guilty to attempted dishonesty after failing to steal £700 from Sudbury's branch of Lloyds TSB.

The court heard how in just two days in January and February, Simpson raided the account of Ewa Borowska and stole £19,200.

On February 7, she visited Lloyds TSB in Haverhill and stole £6,000 from an account holder and a further £5,000 and £4,500 from banks in St Ives and Saffron Walden respectively. She also stole £500 from a bank in Great Dunmow on February 9.

Referring to one of the charges, Kevin Lowson, prosecuting, said: "The defendant went into the Natwest in Stowmarket, dressed formally in a business suit, and told the cashier she was the account holder.

"She said she wanted the money to buy a new car and produced Miss Borowska's passport, which had been adapted with the defendant's photograph imposed on - and she also showed a bank card for identity.

"The defendant, who claimed she was on holiday in the area, was able to answer all the personal security questions put to her and got the money, which has never been recovered.

"She was arrested and admitted the offences saying she had been part of an organised gang who would contact her by telephone and organise these deceptions. She would spend her fee on drugs."

Michael Whatley, mitigating, said: "Miss Simpson is a vulnerable person who was targeted by a serial gang of criminals and used by them in a very sophisticated manner to commit these crimes.

"From this, she was given a nominal amount to purchase drugs as she is a heroin addict."

Magistrates opted to send the case to the Crown Court, on a date to be notified in due course.

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