A social worker who defrauded a local authority of £25,000 in care payments for her disabled husband over two and a half years has been struck off.
An independent conduct committee of the General Social Care Council removed Julie Andrews, 45, after she admitted supplying false financial information to Essex Council in her capacity as her husband’s carer. She also worked for the council as a social worker for two years between 2005 and 2007, which coincided with her false claims, although she maintained her dishonesty was not related to her work.
Andrews was convicted in November 2008 at Chelmsford Crown Court of obtaining property by deception and dishonestly making a false representation. She was jailed for 15 months in January.
Cash used “to fund extravagant lifestyle”
The Essex Chronicle reported in January that Andrews, who lived in Chelmsford, Essex, at the time of her prosecution, stole the identity of a care worker and used it to claim funding from Essex Council between June 2005 and March 2008. Andrews interviewed the female worker on behalf of her disabled husband, not in her capacity as a social worker, according to the newspaper.
She reportedly used the money to fund an extravagant lifestyle including trips to New York and the Far East and plastic surgery.
Dishonesty was “frequent and planned”
Despite mitigating factors such as the registrant’s clean disciplinary record, her recent employment as an outreach worker, and the fact she had shown remorse, the committee found the “high value, the high frequency, and the planned nature of the dishonesty” left them with no option but to remove her from the register.
A spokesperson for Essex Council said: “We can confirm that Julie Andrews worked as a social worker at Essex County Council from 30 June 2005 until 25 May 2007. Her employment with Essex County Council ended amicably and any convictions took place after she left.”