It would appear that such fraud occurred in Cowick and the surrounding area!
It would be fascinating to find out more about these ladies and the industry in which they were employed. It would seem that hand spinning may have been an important industry in the village during the 18th century.
The woollen cloth industry was certainly important in the West Riding of Yorkshire (to which Cowick belonged at the time), and details of the industry may be found here: http://www.ehs.org.uk/dotAsset/1ddc9a7a-a205-403a-995d-912e6d4567fd.pdf.
An excellent description of the Yorkshire weaving industry may be found here: http://www.maggieblanck.com/Land/WE.html