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Ipswich mother found guilty of spending £27,000 of her son’s benefits

10:00 10 February 2016

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An Ipswich woman accused of helping herself to £27,000 of her 25-year-old son’s money while he was in a care home has been found guilty of fraud.

Irene Fogbel, of Halton Crescent, Ipswich, had denied fraudulently taking £27,000 from her son’s funds for her own use between 2010 and 2014.

She was found guilty after a four-day trial at Ipswich Crown Court and will be sentenced later this month or early next month.

During her trial 51-year-old Fogbel, who had a general power of attorney for her son Solomon Fogbel’s financial affairs, said she spoke to him about her money problems and he agreed to let her have £5,000.

During the trial it was claimed Fogbel made cash withdrawals from her son’s bank accounts and spent his money on paying her bills, gambling, food and clothes for herself.

She denied using his money for gambling. However, she accepted on some occasions she had used his bank card to buy items such as clothes and hair products for herself if she didn’t have her own bank card with her.

Fogbel said when she signed a general power of attorney to control Solomon’s financial affairs she didn’t understand she was meant to keep a record of payments made on his behalf.

The court heard Solomon 
was diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum and having a moderate learning disability.

In April 2010, his mother took out a general power of attorney giving her control of her son’s financial affairs, including two of his bank accounts into which his benefits were paid, while he was in residential care. The fraud came to light in May 2014 when Mr Fogbel was informed his benefits had been overpaid by £4,800 and he needed to repay the money.

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