Over-the-top makeup, a bouncy curly red wig and daringly revealing clothes - Dimitri Reeder loved to dress as a woman and be the centre of attention.

He would pose and plaster the pictures all over Facebook - no doubt to clock up as many comments and likes he could. Indeed, in this instance he donned a black flowery dress to impersonate one of his daughters when it was her birthday.

The greedy and luxury-loving fraudster thought nothing of clowning around on social media but it's certainly no laughing matter for council taxpayers cheated out of about £500,000.

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The cynical and brazen scam that he and his wife, Claire Reeder, enthusiastically masterminded for several years is no joke for hard-pressed Hull City Council and East Riding Council.

Families of vulnerable or elderly people who need sometimes very scarce adult care and the long-suffering council taxpayers who will have lost out to the tune of many thousands of pounds will have nothing to laugh about.

Reeder and his wife were jailed at Hull Crown Court on Wednesday for a total of nearly 11 years between them.

Greedy and luxury-loving fraudster Dimitri Reeder.
Greedy and luxury-loving fraudster Dimitri Reeder.

The loss to Hull City Council was at least £200,097 and for East Riding Council it was £204,952 - but the actual true fraud was almost certainly much more.

The fraud involved grossly inflating invoices submitted for supplying agency staff to care homes in Hull and the East Riding.

The couple ran two employment agencies, Proactive Health Partnership Ltd and Angels Careforce Ltd, and charged for huge numbers of hours that were never actually worked. Invoices were fiddled.

The court was told that the total fraud could have been nearer £500,000 than the "generous" investigation figure of only £405,000 officially estimated.

The judge condemned the couple's "pure greed" in hatching the blatant and shockingly brazen frauds.

Dimitri Reeder, 52, of Kingsway, Cottingham, denied two offences of fraud involving Hull City Council between April 2011 and April 2013 and East Riding Council between July 2013 and March 2015.

He also denied false accounting on February 24, 2015 by falsifying a document for accounting purposes.

Reeder was convicted by a jury of the two fraud offences but was cleared of false accounting.

Dimitri Reeder
Dimitri Reeder

His wife, Claire Reeder, 40, earlier pleaded guilty, at a hearing in May, to the two fraud offences.

Dimitri Reeder was jailed for six years and Claire Reeder was jailed for four years and nine months.

They tried to pretend during police interview that it must have been the fault of the complex systems in place for submitting invoices for payment.

Dimitri Reeder tried to bluff his way through the trial with a "pack of lies" and showed not a shred of remorse.

It became clear that he loved high-living and plundered the company of annual "drawings" of between £100,000 and £120,000 for four years.

These so-called "drawings" were, in reality, the proceeds of the long-running scam where hugely inflated invoices were submitted to the councils.

Dimitri Reeder "set a high store by having material wealth" but claimed that the spending was for day-to-day living and not extravagant luxuries.

But the prosecution told the court: "It's day-to-day living but day-to-day living which must have been at a relatively high level."

Claire and Dimitri Reeder are accused of defrauding two councils of more than £400,000
Claire and Dimitri Reeder are accused of defrauding two councils of more than £400,000

That was putting it mildly as eye-watering sums of money were involved in the fraud.

The judge asked where the money had all gone but there was no satisfactory answer.

It had just disappeared, with a steady and relentless stream of spending, whether it was day-to-day or otherwise.

Claire Reeder may have at least shown some pangs of conscience by pleading guilty in May to fraud instead of fighting a trial.

That shortened the length of the trial considerably and it was left to Dimitri Reeder to take his chance and try to pull the wool over the eyes of the jury.

He took on the challenge with relish but the jury quickly saw through him.

It was sent out to consider the evidence just after 12pm but, by 2pm, the message went out that there were verdicts.

That time span will, no doubt, have included a lunch break of about an hour.

Claire Reeder allegedly shared emails with her husband referencing their criminal activities
Claire Reeder allegedly shared emails with her husband referencing their criminal activities

But Dimitri Reeder's gamble partially succeeded because he was cleared of false accounting despite the guilty verdicts on two offences of fraud.

Claire Reeder's guilty pleas saved her from a longer prison sentence as she got a 20 per cent discount on her jail term, making it four years and nine months instead of the six years for her husband.

He could be given no credit for guilty pleas.

But Claire Reeder was branded a "cynical manipulator" and the judge said that an "unedifying aspect" of the case was the "delight" that they took in making the huge sums of money.

The Reeders nicknamed their scam "Dodge City" and a special folder was kept with details of the latest proceeds.

Claire Reeder boasted in an email to her husband: "According to recent calculations, we will be 90k over (aka Dodge City)".

She wrote in large letters "90 f***in k" and Dimitri Reeder is said to have replied: "F***in hell. Ya dodgy b*****d. I luv ya."

In one flagrant fraud, Hull City Council was billed £46,188 - a huge mark-up of 1,111 per cent - for actual hours worked that were worth just £3,812.

Claire Reeder told Dimitri Reeder in an email: "Woooohooooo, yesterday I put through 116 hours Dodge City through and it's all just been approved, all at old night rate too, probably 2k there lol."

She told him: "I knew it would come good in the end!! Fantastic eh, I am very happy, babe. A chufty badge is required, I think, lol."

Dimitri Reeder replied: "A double sided extra large chufty badge with bells and neon lights and everything, I reckon."

Clowning around and humour were never far away, once again.

It was all a bit of a laugh to them at the time.

They couldn't believe that the scam was so easy after they found and exploited a loophole in the checking system for their dodgy invoices.

But the joke is now, at last, on them as they contemplate the next few years behind bars.

The laughs will be few and far between when the grim and depressing reality of spending hours and hours every day in their cells sinks in.

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