Charity donations which should have been spent on saving babies’ lives went on a lavish lifestyle, personalised car number plates and luxury holidays for a Sheffield couple.
Heartless fraudsters Glen and Lynne Moore stole more than £121,000 from charities supporting sick and needy babies and children.
The shameless couple, who lived in a rented council house in Arbourthorne, claimed benefits but also had a villa in Lanzarote, personalised number plates and regularly took expensive holidays abroad.
They held charity collections for legitimate children’s charities – including national baby charity Tommy’s – which funds research to save babies’ lives.
But instead of going on valuable research to prevent miscarriage, pregnancy defects, premature and stillbirths, the money went straight into the Moores’ bank accounts.
Today Jane Brewin, chief executive of the charity, said: “Tommy’s exists to save babies’ lives. “We fund medical research into the causes of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, and provide pregnancy advice and information for all parents-to-be.
“Tommy’s makes every effort to ensure that people fundraising for us are genuine and we want to reassure our supporters that incidents where this is not the case are exceptionally rare.”
Sheffield Crown Court heard their scam began when Lynne became a registered collector for Tommy’s in 2000.
Richard Sheldon, prosecuting, said the last donation she made to the charity was £1,125 in November, 2004, yet she was still ‘collecting’ in 2010.
When Tommy’s organisers became suspicious Lynne was blacklisted.
But that didn’t deter the Moores who set up a bogus charity called Enabled on Queen’s Street, Sheffield, in late 2010 which claimed it was raising money for terminally ill and disabled children.
Mr Sheldon said collections took place in pubs, stores such as Toys R Us, at soccer matches and in supermarkets.
The pair even set up a fake bank account to process their ill-gotten gains while living on benefits at a modest council semi on Eastern Avenue.
Mr Sheldon said: “They collected up and down the country from members of the public but kept all the cash they received for themselves.
“It was organised, systematic and very lucrative.’’
Police were called in following an anonymous tip off to Crimestoppers and the Enabled offices were raided.
When police combed the books they could find no legitimate source of income to explain the large deposits in the couple’s various bank accounts.
The court was told Glen, aged 45, who was married to Lynne, 39, for 20 years was the ‘driving force’ of the scam.
After their arrest the pair were released on bail but fled the country.
They later returned, but Glen fled again and is still on the run.
Lynne Moore pleaded guilty to four offences of fraud and one of acquiring criminal property.
Glen Moore was tried and found guilty in his absence of the same offences.
Recorder Simon Batiste jailed Glen for seven-and-a-half years and Lynne for four-and-a-half.
He said: “These are in any view despicable offences.’’