Social worker struck off for catalogue of fraud

A social worker who committed benefit fraud totalling £29,000 has been removed from the General Social Care Council’s register following a conduct hearing in London last week.

Evelyn Mnene admitted repeatedly giving false employment details to potential or actual employers and failing to disclose information.

In total, she admitted nine allegations of misconduct including providing contact details for a false referee, claiming to have worked for an organisation that did not exist and failing to declare that she was under investigation for fraud on her GSCC application in March 2005.

In February 2006, Mnene pleaded guilty to 10 counts of criminal fraud and was sentenced to nine months imprisonment at Harrow Magistrates’ Court.

Neil Grant, solicitor for the GSCC, said Mnene’s “history of misconduct” was recent and had stretched back seven years from 1999-2006.

Mnene, who attended the hearing but was too distressed to read her witness statement, told the committee her behaviour had been “disgraceful” and she had learned that she needed to “live within her means”.

In her statement, read by her legal representative, Mnene said she had needed money to pay medical bills for her brother, who had contracted HIV and later died, in her home country of Kenya.

The conduct committee decided to remove Mnene from the register after taking into account the seriousness of the misconduct, including her recent conviction for fraud, and the length of time over which she was dishonest.

In a statement, the GSCC said its committee had been concerned by Mnene’s “lack of insight into the potential consequences of her actions” and that she had brought the profession into disrepute.

GSCC chair Rodney Brooke said: “Social workers working with vulnerable children essentially should be trustworthy and of good character.”

Mnene can now appeal the decision at the Care Standards Tribunal.

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