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Mother who faked cancer to raise tens of thousands ordered to repay just £5
26 June 2022, 20:19
A mother-of-one who raised tens of thousands of pounds by faking cancer has been told to pay back just £5.
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Nicole Elkabbas "tugged at people's heart strings" to get the money. She is thought to have got herself £360,000, including £45,000 she raised by falsely claiming she needed life-saving treatment for ovarian cancer.
The 44-year-old, who made use of online fundraisers for her scam, spent the fortune on luxurious holidays abroad, shopping and gambling.
After being jailed or two years and nine months last year, she has now been told she will need to pay back just £5 after it emerged she had no assets to finance repayments.
There is not a "realistic prospect" of Elkabbas, of Broadstairs in Kent, ever repaying the money, a court has ruled.
Elkabbas made it appear that her fake ovarian cancer GoFundMe page had been set up by her mother, and decked it out with a photo of her in hospital as she claimed she was unable to pay for her treatment.
That image was actually from an operation to remove her gall bladder and had been taken months prior.
She used the cash to pay for a £3,000 box at Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur as well as funding her gambling, shopping sprees and holidays to Italy and Spain.
The con began to unravel when a consultant oncologist who had dealt with Elkabbas stumbled upon the web page just weeks after seeing her.
Judge Mark Weekes described Elkabbas's deception as "cunning and manipulative" as he sentenced her last year.
"You produced detail and at times a graphic account of the treatment you were receiving with a view to keeping those you had snared in your web of lies paying you money," he said.
"You tugged at their heart strings. You made mention of your child to add to gild the lily still further and to attempt to wring more cash out of those you had deceived.”