Cancer conwoman who stole £45k ordered to pay back £5

·2-min read
Nicole Elkabbas faked having cancer and swindled well-wishers - KMG / SWNS
Nicole Elkabbas faked having cancer and swindled well-wishers - KMG / SWNS

A woman who faked having cancer and swindled well-wishers out of more than £45,000 has been ordered to pay back just £5.

Nicole Elkabbas, 44, falsely claimed on a GoFundMe page that she needed to pay for private ovarian cancer treatment in Spain.

The page included a photo of her on a hospital bed for a previous gall bladder operation and had purportedly been written by her mother with the title "Nicole Needs Our Help".

Elkabbas had been given the all clear from cancer by doctors days before the fundraiser was set up.

The mother-of-one from Broadstairs, Kent, spent the money on holidays, Tottenham Hotspur tickets, gambling and eating out at restaurants.

She has now been ordered to repay just £5 after a confiscation hearing at Canterbury Crown Court heard she had no "realistic prospect" of compensating her nearly 700 victims.

The former Harrods fashion consultant pleaded not guilty in her trial in November 2020, claiming she genuinely believed she had cancer.

But she was found guilty of two counts of fraud and possession of criminal property relating to money she received between February and August, 2018 through her fake cancer campaign.

Judge Mark Weekes, jailing her for two years and nine months, said her deception had been "cunning and manipulative".

He told her: "You produced detailed and at times graphic accounts of the treatment you were receiving with a view to keeping those you had snared in your web of lies paying you money.

"All the while, you were gambling, enjoying shopping trips and luxuries in Italy and Spain at their expense."

She was only caught after her consultant oncologist discovered her fundraising page asking for donations seemingly set up by her mother Delores – days after examining her.

It called her a "beautiful daughter" and "loving mother to her dear 11-year-old son".

It described her trauma in undergoing three operations and six rounds of chemotherapy that meant she needed a breakthrough drug offered in Spain as the "only way she could be saved".

The picture on the GoFundMe website showing Elkabbas in a hospital bed was in fact from a previous operation to remove her gallbladder.

The surgery at the Spencer Private Hospital in Margate, Kent was paid for by private healthcare insurance and completely unrelated to cancer.

After working out the photo was taken in Margate Hospital – not Spain – police contacted Barcelona's Teknon Clinic where she claimed to be staying.

The clinic said they had never heard of her, while the doctor treating her did not exist, according to Spanish media.

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