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Care home manager swindled elderly residents to pay off debt collectors

 (North Yorkshire Police / SWNS.CO)
(North Yorkshire Police / SWNS.CO)

A care home manager who swindled elderly residents out of tens of thousands of pounds to fund foreign holiday and luxury purchases has been jailed.

Lauren Jane Burgess, 41, was estimated by to have stolen £77,000 out of her victim’s bank accounts over a three-year period.

The audacious thefts first came to light after a family member noticed a substantial drop in their relative’s bank account after they passed away.

And following further scrutiny, they found payments for foreign holidays, Amazon purchases, Next Directory orders and payments to debt collectors.

North Yorkshire police launched an investigation that found usual purchases and withdrawals of cash from four residents’ bank accounts between 2017 and 2020.

In one case, a victim lost over £37,000 and in another over £29,000 was taken, with the estimated loss to all the victims totalling around £77,000.

However, at Burgess’s sentencing on February 1 at York Crown Court, a lower figure of £20,305 was agreed by the court, which prosecutors will now seek to recover.

Burgess was jailed for 22 months after she pleaded guilty to four counts of theft.

Investigating office, Detective Constable Sophie Wilson of York CID, said that Burgess had taken “complete advantage of her position” to fund her own lifestyle.

She said: “Lauren Burgess was in a position of trust and had privileged access to the accounts of vulnerable people in her care.

“Her job was to protect and care for those people but instead she took complete advantage of her position, using thousands of pounds of their money to selfishly fund her own lifestyle.”