Crooked travel agent Lyne Barlow who lied to people including close family that she had cancer while conning more than 1,400 customers has been jailed for nine years.
The mother-of-two, formerly of Stanley, County Durham, previously admitted theft, fraud and money laundering charges totalling £1.2m at Durham Crown Court.
Jailing the 39-year-old on Friday, Judge Jo Kidd told Barlow she had “an extraordinary talent for dishonesty” after hearing that she had stolen more than £500,000 from her own mother following the death of her father in 2015.
She sold luxury holidays at knock-down prices but was funding the sales in a ponzi-style scheme by bringing in new customers to fund existing ones.
Durham Police said she tricked victims, including her close relatives, into believing she had cancer as a means to deflect complaints when people contacted her about missing booking references.