Care worker jailed for fraud - Banbury


A care worker who stole tens of thousands of pounds from a resident was sentenced on Friday, 14 December 2012, at Oxford Crown Court to 16 months imprisonment.

Denise Kiff, aged 40, from St Leonards Close, Banbury, pleaded guilty at Oxford Crown Court on Monday, 12 November 2012, to 18 counts of fraud by abuse of position, stealing a total of £31,217.

Kiff worked as a support worker for MENCAP and worked in Banbury with residents who suffer from learning difficulties.

In March 2011, anomalies in the financial affairs of one of the residents being managed by MENCAP were discovered and an internal disciplinary procedure began, which resulted in Kiff being dismissed and the matter reported to Thames Valley Police.

The Economic Crime Unit (ECU) launched an investigation and found Kiff had stolen from one of the residents, a 62-year-old woman, between 2009 and 2011.

Kiff was subsequently arrested on 20 July 2011, and released on bail while investigations continued. Officers found that as well as taking out a £5,000 loan in the victim's name and then writing out a cheque for £4,000 and paying it into her own account, Kiff used the victim's debit card to withdraw tens of thousands of pounds from cash machines and to pay for goods totalling over £1,100 throughout 2009 and 2010, until the account became overdrawn in 2011. In total, £31,217 had been stolen.

Kiff was questioned about the missing money and denied all knowledge, saying the victim had taken out the loan herself and given her the £4,000 cheque to look after. She also stated that any cash she had withdrawn from the victim's account was with her permission and given to her, and denied using the victim's debit card to pay for any goods.

When shown proof of her handwriting on the loan application and reports that the victim was not capable of making a loan application or managing her finances, Kiff had no explanation.

She was subsequently charged on 20 March 2012, with 19 counts of fraud by abuse of position and pleaded guilty, before being sentenced to 16 months imprisonment.