A fraudster who stole more than £53,000 in NHS money and was then found to be swindling even more in disability benefits has been jailed.
Former Staffordshire County Council worker Fiona Slym, from Walsall, claimed she could barely walk due to suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and arthritis.
But when police detained her under investigation for pocketing money from her employer, she was filmed walking ‘quite easily’ in zipped up boots she had said were ‘impossible’ to get on.
Recorder Rebecca Herbert described the mother-of-two, of Eagle Street, as a ‘thoroughly dishonest individual’ who ‘caused the public to lose confidence’ in the council.
Slym, who had arrived at court on crutches, wept as she was jailed for three and a half years in prison at Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday.
The administration officer’s stealing can be revealed for the first time in the Express & Star after reporting restrictions – imposed while the benefit fraud case was still ongoing – have been lifted.
The 49-year-old had worked for the council in the adult social care’s Cannock office, responsible for dealing with the administration of vulnerable adults’ money.
Her duties included taking care of payments for extra care, funeral costs, bills and more, on behalf of people unable to manage their own finances.
But between March 2009 and June 2014 Slym cashed scores of cheques for herself for payments which had not been requested.
In doing so she illegally pocketed £53,777.72 meant for Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership Trust.
Slym even tried blaming a co-worker but ultimately a jury found her guilty of theft by employee.
In 2010 she renewed her disability benefits stating she could not walk more than a few steps.
But investigators challenged those claims upon her arrest.
Mr Davies added: “On the day she was arrested she was filmed walking quite easily in her zipped up boots, which she had previously claimed were impossible to put on.”
Between September 2010 and June 2015 Slym had banked more than £25,000 in disability payments. It was accepted her claim was genuine initially but she had continued to receive benefits despite her physical condition improving
Last month she pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to inform authorities her circumstances had changed.
Recorder Herbert sentenced her to three years for theft by employee and six months for the fraud indictment to be served consecutively. She said: “You have shown yourself to be a thoroughly dishonest individual.”
Slym will face a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at a later date.
Read more at https://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-hubs/staffordshire/2017/05/25/thoroughly-dishonest-council-worker-jailed-for-stealing-stealing-53k-nhs-cash-and-disability-scam/#A9HajSlDPG6A4WXu.99