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Monday, May 4, 2015

Family feud turns to fraud

By Andrew Reilly

For many people, the most important aspect in their life is their family, and these are the people you turn to when you need help. There is a lot to be said for celebrating the good moments in your life with your family but you really know who you can rely on when times are tough and difficult. This means that most people will get support and assistance from their loved ones but this isn’t the case for everyone. There are people who have difficult relations with their family members, and in some cases, this can lead to a number of bigger problems.

While we can all experience the odd fall-out or disagreement with a loved one from time to time, it is not always the case that a falling out can lead to fraud being committed. However, this was the case for a 25 year old from Mansfield Woodhouse, who pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud. She was sentenced to 160 hours of community service, but the sad state of affairs is the fact that this trouble and difficulty could have been avoided.

Father and daughter relationships are very important

The problems started when Katie Louise Peet used her father’s details to obtain credit from clothing websites Very and Look Again, and to obtain a mobile phone. At this point, she had received permission from her father to take out these contracts and agreements, with Katie promising to pay her father back. However, the pair fell out, which was down to the fact that Katie’s father started a relationship with the mother of one of Katie’s best friends. In her anger at this relationship, Peet cancelled the payments, which kick-started the court action process.

Peet was represented in court by Yvonne Wragg who said that she had moved in with her dad after a split from her own partner and father of her own two children. With Christmas approaching, Peet was concerned about being unable to provide presents for her children and other family members, which may have been the motivation to cancel her payments to ensure that she had the money in place to buy presents for her children. Clearly a mother will always have her children’s interests at heart, but it is important to be responsible for all agreements that you sign up for. The District Judge presiding over the case, Diana Baker, said to Peet; “It was clearly motivated by anger towards your father.”

Other punishments were included as part of the sentence

In addition to the unpaid work, Peet has been provided with a 12 month community order as well as being instructed to pay back all of the money that she owes. This story is extremely sad because it revolves around the breakdown of a relationship in a family but it also shows that being angry can lead to making rash decisions that cost you in the long term.

When fraud is usually committed, it is normally committed out of greed, in a desire to earn more money, or perhaps as a way of getting out of existing financial trouble. In this case, the action that led to the fraud charges being placed in front of Katie Louise Peet, was more of anger and attempting to get back at someone. Whether Peet believed that her father would be forced into making payments for the items or not, she clearly undertook the action as an attempt to hurt him.

This sort of case requires special handling because having fraud allegations hanging over you is bad enough but when you are doing so while falling out with a loved one, there can be a lot more emotions involved. There is a need to hire a specialist fraud solicitor that is equipped to deal with the case, but who is also equipped to deal with the additional stress and difficulties that the client may be under.

This is clearly far from being a standard fraud case, but there are components that are consistent with many fraud cases. Sadly, a rash decision has led to a serious negative outcome for one person, and it may be that the impact on the relationship between father and daughter is quite seriously damaged. There are many different types of fraud and even if this incident wasn’t started in a conventional manner, it had serious consequences like a number of fraud cases.

About the author: Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professionally for 9 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn't sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.

Image: Scott Maxwell/Flickr; "3D Meeting Conflict", CC BY-SA 2.0