A carer who continued to claim payments a year after the death of the person they were paid to look after has been convicted of fraud and given a suspended prison sentence.

Felicitas Ndavambi from Penn appeared before Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday (3 May, 2024) after previously pleading guilty at Dudley Magistrates Court to one count of dishonestly making a false representation, contrary to Sections 1 and 2 of the Fraud Act 2006.

Ndavambi had been employed by a service user who received a Direct Payment from the City of Wolverhampton Council to pay for their care and support at home.

In March 2023, a council social worker discovered that the service user had passed away the year before, but that the council had not been notified of their passing.

An investigation by the council’s Counter Fraud Team subsequently found that, following the service user's death and for almost a year afterwards, Ndavambi continued to submit regular timesheets and claimed funding for providing continued care to the deceased.

Sentencing, Mr Recorder Mills told Ndavambi: “You breached trust and it is an insult to those you know who work tirelessly and honestly in the caring system.”

Ndavambi was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment suspended for 12 months, supervision of 12 months, a 30 day rehabilitation activity, and ordered to pay costs of £150 and a victim surcharge of £156.

The council's Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing Councillor Jasbir Jaspal said: "The City of Wolverhampton Council operates a zero-tolerance policy on fraud and will not hesitate to take action as appropriate, such as in this case in which a carer sought to commit fraud against the council – and, ultimately, the city's taxpayers – for nearly a year.”