A British grandmother who pretended to be blind and suffering from a debilitating illness scammed the British government out of an eye-opening $1.2 million in benefits — and not even her husband was clued in, according to reports.
At one point, Christina Pomfrey, 65, was earning more than $16,000 a month, using two identities and pretending to be blind and suffering from multiple sclerosis, the Daily Mail reported.
The news came as a shock to her husband of 15 years, who said he first heard about his wife’s welfare scams after a police officer recently showed him a copy of her driver’s license.
“So what?” said John Pomfrey. “Doesn’t everyone have one?” He was stunned when the officer told him, “No — not if they’re blind they don’t.”
The granny pled guilty to fraud charges last month in court, and was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison.
“You stole £1 million from your fellow citizens, Judge Sophie McKone said, the Daily Mail reported. “Money which would have gone to people who justly deserved it. Money that could have gone to schools and hospitals.”
Pomfrey’s fraud, which began in 2002, was discovered three years ago when she was put under surveillance by the Britain’s Department for Work and Pensions. Agents secretly filmed her driving, reading a newspaper and picking up her grandchildren from school.
“People think I must have known what she was up to and where all the money went, but the answer to both is I don’t have a clue,’ said Pomfrey’s husband, 60. “She has destroyed my life and I cannot forgive her. She is the craftiest woman I have ever known.”