"The defendant has plainly done some research."
Jasmin Mistry, aged 36, of Loughborough, was jailed for four years on Friday, December 14, 2018, at Snaresbrook Crown Court after she fundraised more than £250,000 by pretending to have cancer.
It was heard she claimed the money from her then-husband, his family and the public between 2015 and 2017. Mistry said she needed it for treatment in the US but spent it on luxury goods like handbags.
She first told her husband that she had brain cancer in 2013 after claiming to be suffering from severe headaches during their honeymoon.
Mistry also showed Vijay Katechia, aged 40, a WhatsApp message from a person he thought was her doctor.
It was later found that the message was sent by Mistry herself, using a different SIM card.
Mistry’s lie escalated in December 2014 when she told Mr Katechia that the cancer was terminal and she had six months to live.
Prosecutor James Benson said: “She displayed to her husband the apparent symptoms, trips to the toilet to vomit, describing blood in her stools, requiring help walking up and down stairs.
“The defendant has plainly done some research.”
She sent herself more false messages, posing as a doctor who suggested that she could be treated in America for the price of £500,000.
Mr Katechia then contacted friends and family to ask for donations for her treatment. This included his mother Pushpa who gave Mistry £32,000.
Mistry also pretended to be single on a dating website. She met one man on the site who gave her nearly £7,500.
Another gave her £66,000 and believed her cancer story after she got him to pick her up from a hospital while wearing a medical wristband.
After receiving the cash, Mistry sent the man a message from a fake persona claiming she had died.
Mr Benson summarised the man’s statement and said:
“He says he was deeply in love with the defendant and being told she was alive after being told she had died came as a total shock.”
In addition, Mistry’s fraudulent activities extended beyond cancer. She posed as a financial trader and told two members of the public that she could invest their money. Mistry convinced them to give her approximately £10,000.
Mistry even claimed she had received death threats which were related to her previous employment.
Mr Benson said: “She claimed the family were at risk of kidnapping.
“She said she had been assigned a security team of ex MI5 officers.”
In total, Mistry conned 30 people and the Met police calculated the amount as £253,122 which was spent on Prada and Chanel handbags.
Suspicions about Mistry’s story were raised when Mr Katechia’s friend pointed out that his wife’s “brain scan” was a stock image from Google.
Mr Katechia’s friend also stated that “the tumour was so severe that it would be fatal for the person with it.”
Mr Katechia later found the SIM cards that were used to send the false messages. When he confronted Mistry, she admitted to her lies. They have since divorced.
Mistry was arrested in November 2017 after the police were contacted. When she was interviewed, Mistry told officers she was not terminally ill and did not know why she had lied.
Investigators looked at her finances and medical records which confirmed that she had never been diagnosed with brain cancer.
The defendant pleaded guilty to the charge of fraud by false representation at Snaresbrook Crown Court on October 24, 2018.
In his victim impact statement, Mr Katechia said: “This has totally ruined my faith in humanity.
“Psychologically and emotionally, it’s something I will never recover from.
“She’s a real risk to the public and I would not wish for any individual to suffer what we have.”
Judge Judith Hughes said: “This is a terrible crime. To tell everybody you have cancer and take money from them… It’s an awful situation.”
Jasmine Mistry was sentenced to four years in prison. After the hearing, DC Jon Bounds said:
“I am glad for the victims of this deceit that they have seen justice.
“Jasmine Mistry went to extreme lengths to manipulate those closest to her emotionally and financially to defraud her now-former husband and his family out of a large sum of money.
“This is a bizarre, shocking case.
“Our investigation revealed the scale of the fraud and the severity of the offending which has resulted in a substantial custodial sentence.”