A BRITISH family accused of swindling €60,000 from Thomas Cook in a Mallorca sickness holiday scam are set to appear in criminal court.
Deborah Briton, 53, and Paul Roberts, 43, both from Liverpool, are accused of filing food poisoning complaints for them and their two children on an all-inclusive break.
It is believed fake claims filed by British holidaymakers are costing Mallorca hoteliers some €50 million a year.
A hearing at Liverpool magistrates court last week also heard Ms.Briton’s daughter Charlene Briton, 30, allegedly filed a fake sickness claim for her and her daughter after a holiday last year.
The claims for food poisoning were filed by David Norman Solicitors, based in Lancashire.
It is believed to be the first time criminal charges have been brought against anyone accused of making a fake sickness holiday claim.
Judge Andrew Shaw a called the allegations ‘a sophisticated fraud with relatively high value of money claimed’.
If found guilty, they face between 18 months and six years in prison.
The case has been adjourned until August 10, with the accused given bail.
A clampdown by British and Spanish authorities against fake sickness holiday scams has begun in recent weeks.
Last week, the British government’s Justice Secretary David Lidington announced said: “Our message to those who make false holiday sickness claims is clear – your actions are damaging and will not be tolerated.”