Jay Delaney, a UK woman, has been sentenced to five years in prison after stealing £388,000 ($490,000) from 38 people to fund her gambling addiction. Ste stole the money from 38 people after conning them to hand over their life savings.
The Scam Was Ongoing between 2015 and 2020
The 32-year-old woman managed to steal the money by telling friends and colleagues that she was included in a massive investment scheme. The 38 victims were convinced of the lies and while they believed that they are investing their life savings into a potentially profitable investment, Delaney used the money to fund her online gambling addiction.
Her first scam took place in 2015 and continued until 2020. Many of the thefts took place in 2020 and she managed to embezzle such a high amount by telling people that she works for Aviva and could double their investments within a couple of years.
Eventually, Delaney confessed to her parents about the massive scheme and asked her father to report her to the police. Even though authorities arrested Delaney in 2019, they let her go on bail. Instead of learning her lesson, the fraudster continued to embezzle money from people and stole around £50,000 ($63,000) after she was released.
One of the Victims Had to Declare Bankruptcy
Christopher Martin, Delaney’s legal counselor, stated that Delaney started gambling when she was 19 and instead of living a lavish life, she spent the money to gamble more. She joined a gambling support group after she was caught in 2020.
The fraud scheme left permanent marks on some of the victims. One person, who was defrauded by Delaney, lost £30,000 ($38,000 and was forced to declare bankruptcy. One additional victim, who was very close to Delaney invested £5,500 ($7,000) even though the money was needed to fund the partner’s serious illness.
Judge Samantha Cohen shared a few more details as to how Delaney’s scheme was actually so successful. She stated that she would return some of the money to the victims so that she could motivate them to invest even more.
To explain what happened to the money, Delaney used “life-threatening illness” and other health-related excuses, according to the judge. Frauds are not something new in the world. A 2021 study in the UK found out that frauds surged by 24% under COVID-19 and as many as 700,000 people are vulnerable to or harmed by fraudulent crimes. The US is even worse as consumers $5.8 billion to frauds in 2021, which is a 70% rise since 2020. Just recently, a man from New York was arrested for over $1.8 million in crypto mining fraud.