Four people who claimed their holiday was ruined by severe food poisoning got caught out after boasting about their time away on Facebook.
Michael Jameson, Jane Weir, Claire Elizabeth Weir and Janet Louise Weir had enjoyed a week-long all-inclusive trip to Benidorm in July 2015.
But upon their return to Toxteth, Liverpool, they decided to file a fake compensation claim which could have cost tour operator Jet2 £45,000.
The party, who travelled along with four children, all stated that their holiday had been ruined as a result of nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting experienced during their stay.
According to their compensation bid, the group argued that their ill health had been caused by negligence.
But once investigators examined the defendants’ Facebook pages, they realised the family had been twisting the truth.
Janet Weir, 63, of Britannia Crescent, had posted on social media the same month as the holiday: ‘Well what can I say what a birthday present, just got back from Benidorm had the best holiday ever lovely hotel, food and brilliant company didn’t want to come home.
‘Thank you once again to my lovely daughters and families for the best time ever love you all.’
Her daughters 35-year-old Claire, of Jacob Street, and 38-year-old Jane, of Weller Way, had then both responded by commenting: ‘Loved every minute of it’ and ‘Wish I was there now mum’.
Pictures online also revealed that 43-year-old Jameson, also of Jacob Street, had enjoyed a day out at a cricket club during the time in which he was supposedly suffering from ill health.
While records from the four-star safari-themed hotel show that the group ordered lager, vodka, gin and amaretto during their stay.
All four defendants pleaded guilty to to contempt before the High Court judge Justice Choudhury, who branded the evidence against them as ‘little short of overwhelming’.
They were each sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for two years, and fined £750.
‘We have led the way to tackle the issue of false sickness claims so that holidaymakers do not expose themselves to the risks that come with getting involved in such dishonest activity,’ Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays.
‘For some time we have warned that making false claims could lead to serious consequences, and this ruling shows how serious they can be.
‘It should leave anyone making a fake sickness claim in no doubt – we will robustly investigate and defend any claims that are dishonest or illegitimate – and the courts will not hesitate to punish anyone engaging in such fraud.’
David Scott, a fraud partner at Horwich Farrelly who investigated the claims, added: ‘We are pleased that this family accepted that their claims were fraudulent.
‘They saw this as a way of making some easy money at the expense of honest holiday makers and they will now pay the price for this stupidity.’