Anita Henderson, formerly a social worker at Sunderland City Council, admitted to lying on three mortgage applications – at one point claiming to have income almost £100,000 higher than her actual income.
Henderson obtained the three mortgages from building societies between 2006 and 2008 but the frauds were not revealed until almost a decade later when criminal proceedings were initiated.
According to the Health and Care Professions Tribunal Service (HCPTS), Henderson’s first fraudulent application claimed a net profit of just over £33,000, when her real income was in fact just £9,000, to which the building society advanced £68,000.
The second mortgage of £97,000 was advanced against declared income for two years of £77,000, again for the purpose of buying a property, when her income was in fact just £66,466.
The third mortgage of £63,000 was borrowed against a property owned by Henderson where she declared income of £101,592 when her real income was just £3,000.
It was stated this advance had been given to a third party.
Henderson was newly qualified and started working at Sunderland City Council in January 2017.
She reported herself to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in April 2017, but an investigation by the HCPC found that she had known about the charges in 2016.
Henderson’s criminal case was heard at Newcastle Crown Court in September 2017, where she pleaded guilty to three charges, with a fourth charge to lie on the file, and was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment, suspended for six months.
The fraud totalled £228,198.35 but no money has been lost by the lenders.
Henderson chose not to respond to the HCPC investigation and did not attend the tribunal hearing.
In permanently excluding Henderson from the social work register, the tribunal panel said it was disappointed she had not engaged with it or shown remorse.
It also suggested there may have been personal factors affecting her life – although it could not corroborate this.
The panel added that any sanction should act as a deterrent to others intending to act in the same way.
“Whilst these matters arose from actions outside of the registrant’s professional duties, they would seriously impact on her profession’s reputation and would have undermined the public’s confidence in the profession,” the panel said.
It concluded that “the matters were so serious, and so fundamentally at variance with the registrant remaining a member of her profession”, that the only option was a permanent ban.