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NQSW struck off for fraud

Newly qualified social worker made false declarations of earnings to gain three mortgages from Building Societies

Published on 1st October 2018

A newly qualified social worker convicted of fraud has been struck off the Health and Care Professions Council register.

A Health and Care Tribunal Service Panel said that matters around Miss Anita Henderson's case were so serious, and so fundamentally at variance with her remaining a member of her profession, that they warrant her removal from the Register on a permanent basis.

On 19 September 2017, Miss Henderson was convicted at Newcastle Crown Court of obtaining money transfer by deception, contrary to section 15A of the Theft Act 1968 and two counts of fraud contrary to section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006.

The offences related to financial fraud in relation to making false declarations of earnings from businesses that were owned and operated by Miss Henderson to enable her to gain three mortgages from Building Societies. The offences occurred over several years.

Miss Henderson pleaded guilty to three charges, with a fourth charge “to lie on the file”. She was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment, suspended for six months, all counts running concurrently.

The Panel noted the facts that lead to Miss Henderson's conviction, which were identified within the transcript of the sentencing hearing on 19 September 2017.

Between 12 October 2006 and 17 October 2008, Miss Henderson obtained three mortgages from Building Societies, having provided applications that were fraudulent by virtue of the defendant providing false accounts in support of inflated earnings.

The first mortgage arose from the submission of a handwritten application claiming a net profit of just over £33,000, when her real income was £9,000. The Building Society advanced £68,000 for the purchase of a property.

The second mortgage of £97,000 was advanced against declared income for two years of £77,000 for the purpose of buying a property. Miss Henderson's income was in fact £66,466.

The third mortgage of £63,000 was borrowed against a property owned by Miss Henderson. It stated that this advance had been given to a third party. Miss Henderson declared income of £101,592 to obtain this advance at a time when her real income was £3,000.

The risk of loss, albeit that there was none, to the Building Societies was £228,198.35.

The Panel noted mitigating factors that she pleaded guilty to the offences at the Crown Court;, there appeared to be difficulties in Miss Henderson's life at the time of the original offence although the Panel had no cerain information about this and she self-referred to the HCPC prior to the case being heard at the Crown Court.

However, the aggravating factors were that there were multiple acts of dishonest behaviour over a long period of time, Miss Henderson chose not to disclose the fact that she was the subject of criminal proceedings to her employer at the time of her appointment and there were three Convictions for fraudulent appropriation of funds in excess of £228,000.

Furthermore, the dishonesty was for personal gain and personal advancement. It was spent on properties including a holiday home in Spain. These matters did not come to light for many years, and initially Miss Henderson's response was one of obfuscation.

As a result, the Panel decided to strike her name from the register.

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