A British woman is facing over 2 1/2 years in prison for tricking a friend into believing she had found her a dream job, the Guardian reports. Helen Dove, 31, impersonated 15 people and sent thousands of emails in an elaborate scheme against 43-year-old Kimberley Baker—all while they were so close that Dove became Baker's main bridesmaid, the court heard. "She was my best friend, she was someone I was with 24/7, that did everything with me," Baker tells the Liverpool Echo. "She went on holiday with us, looked after the kids with me, took the kids to school, so I had no reason not to believe her." Dove and Baker apparently met two years ago at a riding school, where Baker said her dream was to work in children's services. That's when Dove falsely claimed to be an adoption worker.
Soon Dove claimed jobs were available with her supposed employer, a children's services department, so Baker took a voluntary redundancy from her job—and was dragged along for seven months as Dove impersonated employees, forged bank statements, and falsified employment contracts in what appeared to be a drawn-out hiring process. Dove's lawyer claims she did it as "a desperate and misguided attempt" to keep Baker's friendship because Dove had no family and "craved that domestic closeness." But Dove pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud and was sentenced to 2 years, 8 months, along with a $2,000 fine. "I was heartbroken," says Baker, a mother of three. "I couldn't believe someone could do something so cruel. ... She didn't have any heart or feelings." (Read more fraud stories.)