Mother of three lied about cancer death to cash £ 130,000 life insurance policy


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a mother of three who claimed to have terminal cancer in order to cash in a £ 130,000 insurance policy has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Gemma Goodwin, 38, claimed to have less than two years to live and faked medical documents saying she had breast, lung and cervical cancer.

She shaved her head to keep the pretext that she was ill and convinced her friends and colleagues that she was dying as they raised money to send her to America for treatment.

In 2015, Goodwin had taken out a life insurance policy and three years later she made her first attempt to cash it out, Woolwich Crown Court said.

She wrote to insurers to tell them she had terminal cancer, asking for money to support her three children and help with funeral arrangements.

Two months later, she requested that a friend be added as a beneficiary, to handle the insurance claim after her death, and submitted documents including a letter from a local hospital confirming the diagnosis and prognosis.

But investigations revealed that Goodwin was not a patient in the hospital, and she later admitted to faking the letter at home on her computer.

Goodwin overturned her fraudulent claim, but tried to reinvigorate it in January 2019 when she told insurers she only had two to three months to live.

Gemma Goodwin claimed to have cancer

/ City of London Police

The friend who had been named as beneficiary revealed to police how Goodwin repeatedly lied about his illness, claiming to have several different forms of cancer and lupus.

Goodwin had also withdrawn nearly £ 2,000 from a fundraising page, using the money to pay for a vacation with his children.

When questioned, she admitted that she “appreciated the attention she received for being ‘sick’,” City of London police said.

“Goodwin is a deceptive and shameless individual exploiting a devastating disease for personal financial gain,” said Detective Constable Kim Negus, of the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Department.

“Goodwin clearly has no remorse over his fraudulent activity.”

Goodwin, of Dartford, admitted two counts of misrepresentation fraud and sentenced in Woolwich Crown Court to a two-year suspended prison sentence with a six-month electronic tag.

She was convicted in 2019 of claiming almost £ 19,000 in benefits by lying about a terminal illness, when she also received a suspended sentence. Three years earlier she had been convicted of obtaining around £ 40,000 in housing allowance.

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