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Woman accused of shocking ploy to 'raise money for gambling'

A woman has been accused of faking cancer to raise money for shopping and gambling sprees, a court has heard.

Nicole Elkabbas, 42, from the UK, set up a GoFundMe page in 2018 with an allegedly staged picture of her in a hospital bed, which prosecutor Ben Irwin claimed was the crux of her ruse.

Mr Irwin told the Canterbury Crown Court this week the former Harrods fashion consultant also included “detailed lies” on the website, saying she’d been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had undergone surgery and chemotherapy, the Metro reported.

“There she is lying in her hospital bed – what’s that telling the person who looks at this?” he said.

Nicole Elkabbas' allegedly staged picture of her in a hospital bed.
Nicole Elkabbas, 42, set up a GoFundMe page in 2018 with an allegedly staged picture of her in a hospital bed. Source: Nine News/PA

“It was deliberately intended. It was staged to convince people that she was seriously unwell.”

More than 600 people raised more than $80,000 for the 42-year-old, who prosecutors allege spent the cash on clothes, tickets to Tottenham Hotspur and trips to Spain and Italy, the Metro reported.

Prosecutors also claim the image of Ms Elkabbas in hospital was taken during a routine gallbladder procedure she’d previously undergone.

Ms Elkabbas has denied the fraud charges and told the court she had been told she had the disease.

Her attorney Oliver Kirk described his client as a “vulnerable woman” who has a genetic predisposition to cancer.

However, Mr Irwin told the court the 42-year-old was “utterly dishonest”

“It was a scheme designed to trick and to con, and she knew it. So she lied about the major surgery, lied about six cycles of chemotherapy, lied about this wonderdrug, the breakthrough drug,” he said.

“She tricked people who gave her money and then she frittered it away.”

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