Gloucestershire

Caroline Foxley £20,000 benefit cheat jailed while £200,000 in Swiss account

A woman who claimed benefits of more than £20,000 while having £200,000 in a Swiss bank account has been sent to prison for eight months.

Caroline Foxley, 59, was convicted in October 2014 of four counts of benefit fraud but while awaiting sentence claimed a further £30,000, in benefits.

Gloucester Crown Court heard Foxley also tried to transfer £40,000 from the Swiss account to her son in Russia.

A proceeds of crime hearing is due to take place later this year.

Fraudulent claims

The court heard Foxley had been legally entitled to claim income support benefits from 2006.

But the following year, she sold her Cotswold home, Depot Lodge in Chipping Camden, for £306,000 and placed about £200,000 into a Swiss bank account.

Foxley, of no fixed address, said the money belonged to the father of her children, Dr Kurt Mayer, and could not be touched due to his alleged links with the Mafia in Italy.

Bank records show money was taken out of the account to pay school fees - including to Cheltenham Ladies College and Bloxham School in Oxford - for her two children.

Judge Alastair McGrigor, assistant judge advocate general, said Foxley then made fraudulent claims for benefits, amounting to over £19,000 which required "significant planning".

She claimed income support and jobseeker's allowance from the Department for Work and Pensions, along with council tax and housing benefits from Cotswold District Council.

Following an investigation into those claims she then applied for - and was paid - benefits from Malvern Hills and Wychavon District Councils, the court heard.

Representing Foxley, David Leathley said his client had not used the money to fund a "lavish" lifestyle for herself, only to support her children.

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