By Suzanne Martin
A Broadstairs mum-of-one has been found guilty of faking cancer in order to dupe people into giving her money via a Gofundme campaign.
Nicole Elkabbas, 42, of Edge End Road, had denied two counts of fraud relating to money she received between February and August, 2018 but the jury today (November 20) returned a guilty verdict following her trial at Canterbury Crown Court.
Elkabbas conned some 600 people into donating to the fund and even lied about having a cancer operation to “remove her right ovary”. Elkabbas groomed her victims online and from her local community. Her campaign was ruthless and relentless. But the alert was raised by an eagle-eyed private hospital consultant who reported his suspicions to police.
George Tsavellas, a Laparoscopic and Colorectal Surgeon at the Private Spencer Hospital in Margate, described how he had “felt great disbelief” upon hearing of the fake cancer campaign.
Mr Tsavellas said he had been “made aware of the campaign online”. Upon seeing the photograph of Ms Elkabbas appearing to be very sick in a hospital bed, he had a suspicion that it was taken in a room at the Spencer Hospital in Margate and not at a Spanish hospital as Elkabbas claimed.
Mr Tsavellas had diagnosed the defendant with “gallstones” and “upper biliary colic” and carried out “key-hole surgery” to remove her gallbladder as a routine surgery in November 2017. This was when the fake cancer photo was actually taken.
Following his suspicions, Mr Tsavellas consulted the hospital nurse manager believing those images had been taken in the Spencer Private Hospital in Margate in November 2017 and not in the Spring of 2018 when the photos had been posted to social media.
He told the court how he had alerted “his union, the medical defence team, the hospital legal team” and took advice surrounding the strict rules governing patient confidentiality. Only then and with the support of the hospital legal team did Mr Tsavellas contacted detectives at the Fraud Squad at Kent Police to tell them of his concerns.
After her arrest, Elkabbas told the police she had received cancer treatment with Intraperitoneal Chemo, a form of targeted chemotherapy.
But sensationally, during her trial the defendant admitted to the court that the claim was a “lie”. A lie she repeated across social media and as part of her GoFundMe campaign.
Some £45,000 donated to the fund was spent on gambling, hair extensions, holidays and a box at Tottenham for her lover’s family.
Admitting to a ten-year-long gambling addiction, Elkabbas told the court her behaviour is ‘what addicts do”.
Elkabbas, had lied on multiple occasions. She “lied” to members of the public, her family, friends and supporters, some of whom said they had “identified with her” and had paid thousands of pounds to her fake cancer campaign.
She had claimed Nicholas H Morris, a consultant Gynaecologist and Gynaecological Surgeon, diagnosed her with cancer in February 2018. Mr Morris repeatedly denied Ms Elkabbass’ claims that he had diagnosed her or that she had ever been his patient describing it as “pure fantasy”. The court believed him.
The court heard early in the trial that the hospital where Ms Elkabbas claimed to have received treatment, had no record of her. Similarly the doctors she claimed to be in “the hands of” did not know and had not treated her. The court has also been told there is no record of any money paid for cancer treatment within the defendant’s financial statements.
Handing down Judgement, HH Judge Weekes talked of the stress and anxiety Elkabbas’ “wild allegations” had caused the professionals who had come into contact with her.
He said: “The effect of that verdict and anxiety and stress of the consultants concerned with her care and the vindication of Mr Morris and his professional reputation…should go far and wide.”
Referring to the two consultants who had treated Elkabbas in Spencer Hospital, Margate the Judge said: “The work of Graham Ross, as well as George Tsavellas, must be held to be of the highest standard” and “It is important that people have faith in our NHS, particularly at this time”.
As the Judge delivered the verdict, Elkabbas shouted: “It will not be the last you hear of Mr Morris.”
Elkabbas was told to expect to be jailed, with the Judge saying: “As far as the guidelines are concerned, there will be a custodial sentence.”
Elkabbas will be sentenced on February 5 2021. She has been released on bail.
Unfortunately in common with other addicts she lied and deceived those into giving her money ( Me being one of them) to fund her addiction.
It was of course criminal but at the same time tragic that she has had to do those things to so many. With the lottery and bingo sites and all other forms of gambling that encourage punters into throwing good money after bad in the hope of winning big I would guess she is one of many doing similar.
Although of course she didn’t have to do it-there is plenty of help available for gambling addictions. Sadly the vermin that are bookies & online forms of gambling are never going away. Her flippant is what addicts do response & continual lying & trying to besmirch the character of medical professionals shows she has no contrition or sense of guilt/shame & no interest in changing.
What a clown-how on earth did she think she was going to get away with this? Does she not think hospitals keep medical records on all patients? If she had just pled guilty & begged for help with her addictions she likely would have received a lesser sentence than what she probably will.
Scum who will no doubt have lovely indulgent christmas on whatever money she has left from her scam. As someone who has lost loved ones to cancer I think they should lock her up and throw away the key
My younger brother died of cancer too, last year, a few days short of his 75th birthday, this woman is a pathological liar, and I hope she goes down for a long period! But what concerns me is, she has a child, we don’t how old, but if they are under 18, will they go into care?
Rather depends how old the child is & what family she has that could step in. I seriously doubt any custodial sentence would be a long one if this is her first offence or first serious one. I do believe if she had pled guilty & not incurred public expense with a trial at which she showed zero contrition or interest regarding her conduct, not got up on the stand & lied about medical experts & said she wants help & made a genuine or at least pretend genuine apology then this would be a non-custodial sentence with some form of unpaid work etc.
I hope she gets a lengthy prison sentence. She can claim she is addicted to gambling but if this had been a drug addict then they would be slated non stop. People need to be careful who they donate to an Facebook as it’s full of people scamming on there. I hope they get a confiscation order on her and hopefully the kind people that donated to her can get some of their money back.
Good news on that front-Meridian News earlier said everybody who donated through the fund page has been reimbursed in full by that site.
I hope she gets a lengthy prison sentence. People are always scamming on Facebook. She can say she is addicted to gambling but if she was addicted to drugs everyone would think she was scum. Hopefully they get a confiscation order on her so that the kind people that donated to her can get some of their money back.
There’s a couple of painfully unfunny “comedy” videos of her on youtube, Google them…
If they jailed her for being funny they would be locking up an innocent woman.
Gosh what a nasty bunch of hypocrites you are! As the good book says “those without fault throw the first stone”. Have a honest look at your life, how many bad thoughts and deeds have you commited? I know I’ve done plenty of bad things. This woman Nicola did something really bad, she’s going to prison to pay. She’ll probably lose everything including her property. She has a child. Do think it’ll be easy for her to get a job again when she comes out? Life ain’t easy, we’re weak,we screw up. How about showing a bit of mercy and forgiveness? Because one day maybe you’ll get caught out doing something your ashamed of?
Atheist, so bible quotes are irrelevant for me. Sure, we all make bad decisions in life, but it takes a whole new level of scuzzy to fake cancer to con 45k out of your family, friends & strangers-doubt anybody posting here has done that. She hasn’t been sentenced yet-the judge has said she might get a custodial sentence, but it isn’t set in stone.
The big issue here is she had a gambling addiction for a decade, but apparently didn’t seek any help, has wasted public money on a pointless trial where it would have benefited her to plea guilty, stood in court & perjured herself on the stand-where she has tried to sully the reputations of medical professionals & shown a couldn’t care less attitude. Where is the contrition? Where is the personal responsibility instead of it is what gamblers do response?
Margate Dave, I take your point but it’s no good quoting “the good book” because most say they don’t believe in God………that is until something goes wrong then they all want to blame him for the weather, the situation they find themselves in, the illness they have, the trouble they are in.
Well if God existed why would it create disease ridden people allergic to things it also created? In reality the only ones who believe these ridiculous though highly entertaining fairy tales are those who spend their lives down on their knees asking for forgiveness for things that have nothing to do with them.
Good God Steve what’s a matter with you. Calm down dear. You sound like you went in the font of the church and realised the font was at the back and the back.
Organised religion is just a way to control & fleece the ignorant & to molest children.
Just looked on line and in 2018 the cheapest box at spurs starts at 72k ! So plus holidays, hair extensions, and gambling her she made 45k go along way !
I feel very sorry for this lady her gambling has lead to her downfall. Those who donated are going to be paid back by the go fund me website so no loss to them. It’s not as if she is Phillip Green of BHS scandal robbing employees of millions of pounds they paid into their pension fund. The man who was made a Sir????? His addiction is greed. When is he going to be brought before a court. Also this lady supports a very good football team.
I think you’re missing the point slightly Bill. When people donate money they do so in good faith. Although these people will reimbursed financially you can’t so easily repair the damage to their trust. Hopefully they’ll all be able to move on without feeling they’ve had their fingers burned too badly but it will have hurt a lot of them in that they were targeted and groomed personally by this lady.
You should give her a maximum sentence even that she is a mum. Because with her lie she make people to loose the trust on donating.And the same way she will teach her child. You should give maximum to everyone that is with fraud. They stole £600 from my card and i have work hard to make those money.
I first read that story in the ¨Jewish News¨. Say no more. !!!
Now you will laugh !!!
A Jewish investment adviser defrauded 55 families for 15 million.
He got 6 years, by a Jewish judge, that is one year for every 2.5 million. That is with remission for good behavior 1 year for every five million.
By that calculation, for 45k that woman will get 3 days in custody.