In a case that shocked the community of Islington, a couple fell victim to a fraudulent financial scheme, scamming victims between January and May 2018, resulting in a loss of over £230,000. Haydee Daniel, aged 55, residing at Valley Road, Henley-on-Thames, has been handed a four and a half-year prison sentence. This verdict was delivered at Wood Green Crown Court on Thursday, October 26th, following her conviction on Tuesday, October 24th, after a four-week trial at the same court.
PC Evan Mcloughlin, a member of the Met’s Economic Crime Unit, expressed the deep impact this crime had on the victims, calling it “absolutely shocking.” Daniel orchestrated an elaborate investment fraud, preying on vulnerable individuals on a significant scale to fund an extravagant lifestyle, displaying complete disregard for the victims’ well-being.
Mcloughlin further noted that Daniel showed no remorse for her actions, even resorting to faking various medical conditions over more than three years in an attempt to postpone her trial at great expense to the National Health Service.
The investigation into this scam was initiated by detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime’s Economic Crime Team in 2019.
During the trial, it was revealed that Daniel had gained the trust of a couple, including a young, ill child, by showcasing her seemingly lavish lifestyle. She falsely claimed to have connections at Barclays bank that could secure them discounted properties. Acting as a fictitious intermediary, she convinced the victims that their credit ratings were insufficient to obtain these properties and that she would need to act as their guarantor.
Subsequently, Daniel informed the victims that they had to demonstrate financial stability during periods when they were not earning income. The fictitious contact advised them to send funds to a bank account controlled by Daniel, assuring them that the money would be ring-fenced and later returned to them once their financial eligibility was confirmed.
However, in reality, the funds were not protected, and Daniel promptly spent them on luxury items and rentals or transferred the money to acquaintances. As a result, the victims were left in dire straits, burdened with debt to their own family, from whom they had borrowed money with the expectation of repayment after the deal’s completion.
In their impact statement, the victims emphasized that the loss of over £230,000 extended beyond a mere financial figure. It represented the theft of their security, their hopes for the future, and the well-being of their child. The constant stress and anxiety induced by Daniel’s actions had permeated every aspect of their lives.
To further manipulate the victims, Daniel fabricated a story about having cervical cancer with only 18 months to live, claiming her desire to help them secure a better future before her demise. However, it was later revealed that Daniel had been cured of her cancer in the 1990s and remained cancer-free at the time of the offense.
Evidence pointing to Daniel’s guilt was substantial. The location of the phone used to communicate with the victims consistently traced back to her home address. Moreover, investigators discovered that both Daniel and the fictitious contact left the WhatsApp group with the victims just two hours before her police interview.
Despite her attempts to cover her tracks, officers managed to recover over 1000 pages of WhatsApp messages between the victims and Daniel. These conversations confirmed the victims’ belief that they would acquire four properties in exchange for their financial contributions, ultimately exposing the depth of the deceit.