West Hampstead pilates teacher gets suspended sentence for £35k fraud

Rhiann Keys. Picture: Met Police

Rhiann Keys. Picture: Met Police - Credit: Archant

A pilates teacher who defrauded a friend out of more than £35,000 has received a suspended prison sentence.

Rhiann Keys, of Compayne Gardens in West Hampstead, bought 24 iPhones, worth £25,210,94 and car insurance for £2.763.

On top of this she bought a dog car seat for her Dachshund and holidays for her friends to Ibiza. This brought the total up to £35,037.85. The spending spree took place between December 2017 and Ma7 2018.

Harrow Crown Court heard that she had used credit cards belonging to her friend, who was also a client of her pilates business, without their permission, to buy the expensive goods and fund her flamboyant lifestyle.

The victim eventually noticed invoices for items she hadn't bought and an investigation was launched.

Detectives from the Met found the 35-year-old had saved the victim's payment details after she helped her buy a pilates exercise machine.

Keys was arrested and interviewed on June 13 last year. Initially she denied the offence, until an email confessing what she had done was found on her phone, along with invoices for the iPhones.

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The email, which had been sent to a friend, said that she had run up a drug debt and embarked on the fraud to pay off her dealers. However when she realised how easy it was, she carried on doing so.

On Friday a judge at Harrow Crown Court sentenced her to a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. She had pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud in a hearing three weeks before.

Det Con Ansah Ossei-Owusu, who investigated the crime said; "Keys took advantage of the trust placed in her by her client, who was also her friend.

"The fraudulent purchases were used to fund a flamboyant lifestyle including luxury items such as a dog car seat and holidays for her friends.

"Members of the public are advised to check receipts against statements carefully and contact your card company immediately if you find an unfamiliar transaction."