Bridesmaid Jailed After Scamming Bride Out of $65,000 by Convincing Her She Had a Job for Months

A bridesmaid has been jailed for more than two years after she scammed a bride out of more than $65,000 by convincing her she had a job for months.

Helen Dove, 31, and 43-year-old Kimberley Baker met at a riding school in Merseyside, U.K. in early 2017, the Liverpool Echo reported. They became such good friends that Baker asked Dove to be her main bridesmaid and they visited wedding venues together.

When Baker revealed that she aspired to work in children's services, Dove claimed she was an adoption worker at Warrington Borough Council in Cheshire, U.K. Dove promised Baker that she could get her a job at the council and so Baker took voluntary redundancy from her job.

According to the Echo, Baker's job interview was canceled and she then answered interview questions over email before being told she had got the job.

When Baker sought temporary work elsewhere after her employment start date was delayed, Dove persuaded her not to. Over the next seven months, Dove impersonated 15 employees, doctored bank statements, forged employment contracts and faked job interviews to convince Baker that she had been hired, police said.

According to the Echo, Dove sent her emails using different email accounts asking her to carry out administrative tasks and also giving her excuses about why she hadn't officially started the job.

Baker then reportedly confronted Dove and asked for evidence that she worked for the council. It was only when Baker visited the council's offices after not being paid for months that she was told that Dove wasn't employed there and she wasn't either, according to the Echo.

Police said Dove had cost Baker around £50,000 ($65,000) in lost wages. According to the Echo, Baker was forced to cancel her wedding and has been left paranoid and devastated after discovering the truth.

Dove's attorney Zahra Baqri told Liverpool Crown Court that Dove's scam wasn't about causing her victim financial loss, but a "desperate and misguided attempt" at maintaining her friendship with Baker that "snowballed," the Echo reported.

But Judge Robert Warnock said he didn't accept that explanation as Dove continued to keep up the pretense even when Baker shared her financial woes.

Dove was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation. She was also ordered to pay $2,000 (£1,500) in compensation and was handed a 10-year protection from harassment order forbidding her from contacting Baker.

Following the sentencing, Detective Sergeant Paul Kay from Merseyside Police's Economic Crime Team said: "This was a really unusual case and I have never seen anything like it before in my career. Dove made no monetary gain from this but the victim suffered unnecessary disruption and a loss of salary by Dove's ongoing actions."

He added: "I hope that Dove will use the time in prison to reflect on the consequences of her actions. Her victim was exceptionally supportive in assisting the prosecution. I hope that today's sentence means she can finally move on with her life."

Helen Dove
Helen Dove was jailed for more than two years after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation. Merseyside Police