A Sheffield woman has been jailed for four years after scamming elderly victims out of thousands of pounds.
Emma Haywood, 41, of Dore Road, Sheffield, received the sentence at Sheffield Crown Court today (Friday 3 August) after pleading guilty to multiple offences at two separate court hearings.
Officers launched an investigation into Haywood in 2016, after receiving reports she had posed as a financial advisor to prey on a vulnerable victim and commit fraud.
Having been dismissed from her job as a financial advisor at a life insurance company, Haywood maintained contact with a former client, a woman in her 80s from Sheffield, and continued to arrange meetings to see her. This woman would become her first victim.
During those meetings, Haywood would present the victim with information about different bank accounts, explaining they would make her client more money. Haywood then wrote a number of cheques totalling £30,000 for what the victim believed were new accounts and encouraged her to sign them.
When the victim didn’t receive any correspondence about her new accounts, she called Haywood’s former employer who reported the matter to police.
Haywood was arrested and charged with fraud offences. She pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation at Sheffield Crown Court in August 2017 in relation to this matter and was bailed for sentencing.
While on court bail for sentencing, Haywood struck again, targeting an elderly couple in Sheffield and stealing around £10,000 from them. She subsequently pleaded guilty to theft at a Sheffield Crown Court hearing in June 2018.
Investigating officer DC Stephanie Phoenix said: “Haywood abused her position of power to intentionally target vulnerable victims for her own selfish gain. At no point did she think about the impact her actions would have and I’m glad she has now been rightfully punished.
“The first victim trusted Haywood, who took advantage of her, and her second offence, while on Crown Court bail, demonstrates her lack of regard for the vulnerable, elderly members of the community she chose to target and exploit.
“I hope everyone affected by Haywood’s crimes feel justice has been achieved and are able to take some solace in the sentence Haywood has received.
“Fraud is a serious crime and it is our hope that by highlighting results such as this one, it provides reassurance that everyone at South Yorkshire Police will work to bring offenders to justice and protect members of our community.”
If you have been a victim of fraud or would like to report any concerns you may have, please contact police on 101. Information and awareness on how to spot potential fraud and keep safe when online can be found on our website: www.southyorks.police.uk/find-out/crime-prevention-advice/online-safety/
A Proceeds of Crime investigation will now be sought against Haywood, in a bid to reclaim the money she stole.
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