A mother who pretended to have ovarian cancer to raise more than £ 45,000 in donations from well-wishers is jailed after being found guilty of fraud.
Nicole Elkabbas, 42, of Broadstairs, Kent, claimed she needed to pay for treatment and set up a non-profit GoFundMe website, but transferred the donations to her own bank account.
But she was never diagnosed and instead used huge sums of money to fund her gambling addiction, pay off growing debts and enjoy her “expensive lifestyle” – including £ 3,592 on tickets to watch Spurs football matches.
Nicole Elkabbas, 42, of Broadstairs, Kent, pictured outside Canterbury Crown Court, was found guilty of fraud after feigning cancer to raise funds
The whiny Elkabbas was sitting in the dock at Canterbury Crown Court in Kent, wearing a gray coat and polka dot scarf, when the jury of nine men and one woman pronounced guilty.
She was found guilty of fraud related to a misrepresentation of ovarian cancer in order to receive money for treatment between February and August 2018.
Elkabbas was also found guilty of a criminal property count related to donations that were subsequently transferred to her bank account.
The jury, which had thought for a little more than eleven hours after being posted on Wednesday afternoon, found them guilty on both counts with a majority of nine to one.
Former Harrods and Marks and Spencer employee Elkabbas described herself as "addicted to gambling" in 2018 after spurning over £ 60,000 in one year and called her habit "excessive, unpredictable and extreme".
Elkabbas posted a photo of herself from a previous surgery at the hospital on her GoFundMe page to raise funds
She made six trips to Spain, including just weeks before her arrest, but made one trip to Barcelona, where she visited the Sagrada Familia, which was a "tourist trip".
Instead, Elkabbas claimed she was visiting a specialist clinic where an operation would cost 40,000 euros and a further 13,700 euros per month for a cycle of six to twelve months of drug treatment.
But Judge Mark Weekes said, "There was no trial record in Spain or medical records to prove it."
In a dramatic U-turn, Elkabbas even admitted, "Now I don't know if I had cancer," even though he previously said she was "100 percent sure" that she had the disease.
She also accepted "what was written on the page was misleading" and regretted not updating it.
Elkabbas, pictured, has denied fraud and said she believed she had cancer
The fundraising page, titled "Nicole Needs Our Help", was written in the third person of her mother, who takes care of Elkabbas full time, and played on the public's nerves by calling her a "beautiful daughter" and a "loving mother for her 11th birthday." "described -year-old son & # 39 ;.
The indictment against Mr Irwin explained a picture on the GoFundMe website showing that Elkabbas "apparently battered and looking very bad in her hospital bed" was in fact from a previous operation to remove her gallbladder.
The operation at Spencer Private Hospital in Margate, Kent, was covered by private health insurance and was completely cancer-independent, "instead arousing sympathy."
General Advisor George Tsavellas, who performed the keyhole surgery in January 2018, stated that there was "no malignancy at all" and said that both ovaries "looked normal".
The Ben Irwin Prosecutor said: “They did not use this money on cancer treatment.
She didn't need the money for cancer treatment.
"Ms. Elkabbas used this money instead to gamble, pay off old debts and finance her expensive lifestyle."
A woman sent £ 4,900 straight after she was convinced of Elkabba's "lies" which Irwin said were "intended to" extract money.
The jury was told that Elkabbas, defended by Oliver Kirk, even met a good Samaritan who personally donated £ 5,900 to convince him that she needed more money.
She wrote to an online friend she had included in her campaign describing the "agony" her medical procedures had inflicted on her young son, the court heard.
In an interview at Canterbury Police Station, Elkabbas repeatedly insisted that she had cancer and admitted to having set up the GoFundMe page, but the "truth began to creep out" when she spoke of gambling debt.
Oliver Kirk's defense told the study that Elkabbas claimed that consultant gynecologist Nicholas Morris diagnosed Elkabbas with ovarian cancer before launching the GoFundMe page.
However, this was undermined by an email she sent him saying, "Got a diagnosis."
Mr Morris said she had never been his patient and described Elkabba's claims as "an utter fantasy".
The judge told Elkabbas of Broadstairs, Kent: “You have been convicted of what I believe to be convincing evidence on both counts.
"With respect to the guidelines, there will be a prison sentence."
The judge said he would consider her steps in addressing her gambling, taking care of her ailing mother, and the fact that she is a single mother in determining her sentence.
Elkabbas has been released on bail and is expected to be sentenced on February 5.