A woman conned £250,000 out of her parents by pretending she was studying at Oxford University, a court heard.
Instead, she was found to have spent the money on holidays, drugs and a secret wedding.
Nicola Boardman had told her parents she needed the funds for a large research project with the possibility of her earning £3 million once it had finished.
The 34-year-old's parents, Frank and Marilyn, had given up their jobs and sold their home in the belief their daughter was soon to become rich, reports the Mirror.
Boardman's father had driven her to what she told him were interviews at Oxford and Cambridge.
She later told them she had been offered a a place at Oxford to study a PhD in social sciences.
She pleaded guilty to fraud and was sentenced to three years and four months at Truro Crown Court.
Boardman had become addicted to heroin while a teenager but had undergone rehabilitation.
The court heard she earned a first-class degree in social sciences at Camborne College in Cornwall but later relapsed into drug addiction.
Boardman spent £10,000 on a wedding to a man from Redruth without inviting any of her family, the court heard.
After aborting a pregnancy, she told her parents she had a stillbirth and invited them to a ceremony to scatter ashes.
Mr Justice James Dingemans told the court: "This is another evidence-based example of the destruction caused to society by the use of drugs."