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Fraud pair Steven Neal and Susan Gude sentenced
A HUSBAND has a six-month jail term hanging over his head for two years and may have some or all of his assets confiscated after he carried out an insurance fraud on his estranged wife.
York Crown Court heard Steven Neal’s sister Susan Gude may lose her job because he persuaded her to reluctantly masquerade as his wife, Beverley, so he could cash in the couple’s joint endowment policies for £20,200.
He must now make a sworn statement of all his assets and debts so the prosecution can decide whether he should be targeted under legislation aimed at stopping criminals profiting from their crimes.
Later this year, he will learn how much he will have to pay towards the £4,200 cost of trying him and his sister.
The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, told Neal: “You should know after this trial the need for complete honesty and transparency with the court.”
He said telling lies to insurance companies was serious.
Judge Ashurst said: “I am quite satisified Susan Gude would not be in the Crown Court had it not been for you contacting her and asking her to come and help.”
Neal had “played for time” after cashing in the policies by deliberately not telling his solicitors what he had done, the judge said. They continued divorce negotiations with Beverley Neal’s solicitors that included the policies for six months before his wife discovered the policies no longer existed.
Neal, 51, formerly of Larchfield off Stockton Lane, and now of Sowerby Bridge, Halifax, changed his plea to guilty towards the end of his trial for fraud and was given a six-month prison term suspended for two years on condition he does 150 hours’ unpaid work.
Gude, 55, of Bede Vue Avenue, Leeds, denied the same offence and was convicted by a jury in the same trial. She was given a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £500 towards the prosecution costs. She had no previous convictions and runs a social club.
Her barrister Tom Gent said: “There is clearly the possibility she is going to lose her employment.”