Windsor Woman Pleads Guilty To Numerous Fraud Schemes

A Windsor woman has pleaded guilty to 31 fraud-related offences which included faking she had cancer.

Audrey Annette Bishop, 52,  pleaded guilty to numerous charges including fraud over $5000, fraud under $5000 and using a forged document.

Court heard Bishop orchestrated several elaborate schemes from 2013 to 2016, defrauding friends and acquaintances of about $150,000.

She also alleged she had cancer, was suffering from non Hodgkin's lymphoma and received funds for her treatment. 

She would also sell furniture at her consignment shop "Audrey's Attic" in Amherstburg and never pay the furniture owners the money from the sale.

In another incident, she befriended a widow and defrauded her of $90,000 through borrowing money which was never returned and receiving money to make purchases which were never made. 

Bishop's lawyer Daniel Topp says the guilty pleas are the first step in the process.

"She is pleading guilty. Number one that is the most important thing," he said outside the courthouse.  "She is pleading guilty without the need for a trial to put all these people through this and she is going to the federal penitentiary so she is accepting responsibility for this fraud."

Topp admits there was a lot of thought put into these schemes.

"The frauds were elaborate in nature and they went on for quite some time and that is unfortunate for the victims, but the process has started to put this behind everyone hopefully."

Bishop's lawyer Daniel Topp says Bishop is struggling and is not doing well.  He says she has a mental illness and has started her own healing process to learn to not be involved in this type of behaviour.

The case returns to court in November to set a date for sentencing.

Bishop was arrested back in April 2017 and was originally charged with 50 counts of fraud, theft and uttering a forged document.