Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Mum's MS Insurance Scam Netted $300K; Husband's Final Act before Taking His Own Life Was to Lift Lid on Fraud

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Mum's MS Insurance Scam Netted $300K; Husband's Final Act before Taking His Own Life Was to Lift Lid on Fraud

Article excerpt

Byline: ROSS IRBY ross.irby@qt.com.au

AN IPSWICH mum who claimed to suffer "battered wife syndrome" when she agreed to pull off a $300,000 insurance scam, has been sentenced to five years jail.

Judge Dennis Lynch QC ordered Wendy Jayne Lentini, 56, to complete at least 18 months of the sentence behind bars before the remainder of the term is suspended.

The woman now faces losing her house at Mount Tarampa near Lowood, which was allegedly purchased using some of the insurance monies.

Following a two-week trial an Ipswich jury found Lentini guilty of committing fraud against the Commonwealth Bank's CommInsure - in which she falsely claimed to have Multiple Sclerosis to receive the massive payout.

During the trial she claimed that her husband Kemmy Lentini poured petrol over her, threatening to kill her.

The fraud was discovered after her husband committed suicide in 2012. Before his death he sent out an email about the crime committed a decade earlier in 2002.

Anne Dwyer, previously Anne Gilmont, did have diagnosed MS and she admitted going to a Brisbane hospital for an MRI scan while pretending to be Wendy Lentini.

Dwyer pleaded guilty some time ago to fraud. As her health deteriorated she became wheelchair-bound.

Her severe medical issues and cooperation with the police investigation were taken into account and she was sentenced to five years jail (fully suspended) for her role.

Judge Lynch said the husbands of the women, Michael Gilmont (former police officer at Gatton) and Kemmy Lentini, were clearly the architects of the offence and had used the women as pawns.

In submission on penalty, Crown prosecutor Noel Needham said Lentini also had unrelated Commonwealth offence matters before the Ipswich Magistrates Court.

Mr Needham said the $300,000 was a significant loss to the insurance company and Lentini at first gave information to investigating detectives that held "falsehoods" (lies), at first insisting she did suffer from MS.

"It is not alleged that she was a prime mover but party under the wings of others. It was reasonably complex and if not for the actions of a co-conspirator (her husband) it may never have been found out," he said. …

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