Carina Reid, 32, was a successful model for 5 years, posing next to fancy automobiles and at the inauguration of posh businesses. This is perhaps why she quickly plunged into a hole of financial misery, losing all she possessed and unable to pay for food. Certainly, it didn’t take long for the truth to come to light.
Reid was living in a luxurious UK flat on Chelsea’s sought-after King’s Road while pretending to be completely impoverished. She had secured the property by putting down a deposit of $25,800, which is an incredible effort for anybody, rich or poor. This raised the possibility that the struggling model wasn’t being completely truthful.
Reid received more over $64,000 in housing assistance despite having a flat in West London, which was the first of multiple red flags. However, once the authorities noticed what the young beauty was posting on Facebook, they moved quickly to prevent her from collecting her welfare checks.
Reid was caught and sentenced to three years in jail after the Isleworth Crown Court concluded she claimed $232,564 in benefits, which she used to maintain an extravagant lifestyle. Reid was apprehended only after authorities uncovered photos of her on vacation in several locations, enjoying helicopter flights, drinking champagne, and eating at the most costly gourmet restaurants.
Despite having a lucrative career as a model-for-hire and owning a beauty firm called Enhance Medica, Reid applied for benefits from Kensington and Chelsea Council, saying that she didn’t make enough money from her job. Her firm, however, was thriving, as were her perks.
Reid foolishly publicized her shopping sprees on Facebook, including a trip to Dubai, where she bought an apartment for $150,000 in taxpayer money. She ultimately piled up over $230,000 in welfare, which she divided up into 19 different bank accounts in an effort to evade detection.
Reid’s taxpayer-funded travels carried her throughout the globe, including luxurious vacations in Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, France, and Hong Kong. Of course, Reid resented the fact that she had to take meals from her local mosque in order to survive. At the same time, she was boasting about her extravagant spending on Facebook as Cara Delmonte.
Reid, however, was able to acquire a mortgage based on legitimate tax filings that indicated her beauty company was booming. However, it took far too long for the council’s anti-fraud squad to uncover her scheme.
Reid eventually pled guilty to nine counts of falsely claiming housing and tax benefits, earning her a three-year jail term. Her case has resulted in one of the most punitive penalties ever given out in London for benefit fraud.
Despite living a high-end lifestyle, the council found that she had only received about $66,000 too much pay, indicating that the rest of her benefits were appropriate. Despite her prison sentence, none of the money has been recovered, and it is unlikely that it will be fully repaid.
The taxpayers are bearing the brunt of Reid’s misbehavior as a result of her complex scheme. Unfortunately, the funds will not be distributed to individuals who actually need social assistance in order to recover their footing.
Although Reid was sentenced to prison, many believe that her punishment was insufficient. Indeed, some have pointed out that she is still living on the taxpayers’ dime, despite the fact that she is no longer jet-setting around the world.