Ben­e­fits cheat, 47, is sen­tenced af­ter she ad­mits to fraud

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By SO­PHIE FLOW­ERS

AFORMER Play­boy film star has been sen­tenced af­ter she ap­plied for mul­ti­ple in­sur­ance poli­cies, but failed to dis­close de­tails of a pre­vi­ous conviction, in which she fraud­u­lently claimed more than £44,000 in ben­e­fits.

Juliet Marti­nessa, 47, of Welles­ley Road, Cheltenham, pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud by fail­ing to dis­close in­for­ma­tion, fol­low­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the City of Lon­don Po­lice’s In­sur­ance Fraud En­force­ment De­part­ment.

She was sen­tenced at In­ner Lon­don Crown Court to eight months im­pris­on­ment, sus­pended for two years.

It was re­vealed that be­tween Fe­bru­ary 2015 and June 2017, Marti­nessa bought or re­newed a to­tal of eight poli­cies for mo­tor or house­hold in­sur­ance, but never once dis­closed de­tails of her pre­vi­ous conviction.

By do­ing so, Marti­nessa was able to buy in­sur­ance at a much cheaper price than she was en­ti­tled to.

Should the in­sur­ers have been told, they would’ve ei­ther in­creased the price in ac­cor­dance with the risk or de­clined her a pol­icy outright.

She was pre­vi­ously con­victed in Jan­uary 2015, af­ter she pleaded guilty to ob­tain­ing £44,000 in ben­e­fits by ly­ing about be­ing too sick to con­tinue her mod­el­ling and act­ing ca­reer.

The court heard how she had starred in a Play­boy film, re­cently sold a prop­erty in Spain for 110,000 Euro and was, at the time, run­ning a suc­cess­ful pho­tog­ra­phy com­pany.

She was sen­tenced to nine months in pri­son, sus­pended for 12 months, and given a con­fis­ca­tion or­der for £50,000 un­der the Pro­ceeds of Crime Act 2002.

At the time when she was sen­tenced, she was called Ju­lia Martinez (her birth name) but changed her name to Juliet Marti­nessa af­ter­wards.

De­spite this, an in­sur­ance com­pany dis­cov­ered ev­i­dence of Marti­nessa’s pre­vi­ous conviction af­ter they had con­cerns over a claim she made in re­la­tion to a wash­ing ma­chine leak.

It was dur­ing their in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the claim that they re­alised she hadn’t dis­closed her crim­i­nal past when re­new­ing her pol­icy. They then re­ferred the case onto IFED for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion, where her ad­di­tional fraud­u­lent ap­pli­ca­tions for in­sur­ance were iden­ti­fied.

De­tec­tive Con­sta­ble Kevin Carter, who led the in­ves­ti­ga­tion for the In­sur­ance Fraud En­force­ment De­part­ment (IFED), said: “It ap­pears that Marti­nessa didn’t learn any­thing from her pre­vi­ous fraud conviction, and was fool­ish enough to think she could get away with ob­tain­ing cheaper in­sur­ance by not dis­clos­ing this in­for­ma­tion.

“Hope­fully she’s now learnt her les­son and will think twice be­fore at­tempt­ing it again.

“This sen­tenc­ing is not only a warn­ing to her, but any­one else think­ing of mis­lead­ing an in­sur­ance com­pany.

“Fail­ure to dis­close any con­vic­tions is a crim­i­nal of­fence.

“If you com­mit in­sur­ance fraud, you will be caught and you will be brought to jus­tice.” so­phie.flow­[email protected]­plc.com

Juliet Marti­nessa

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