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Former solicitor admits £1.4m fraud

 
Created on 19/10/2016 @ 13:10
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The BBC is reporting that a Welshpool solicitor turned financial advisor has admitted swindling almost £1.4m from his clients.

David Vaughan Jones, 76, initially denied charges of theft and fraud at Mold Crown Court, but on Tuesday pleaded guilty to 24 of the 39 charges, which the prosecution accepted.

Judge Niclas Parry deferred sentencing until April 2017, and gave him a chance “to put his money where his mouth is” and repay those who lost their savings.

The jury heard Jones was a founder member of the Evangelical Church in Newtown, and some of the complainants were friends and associates, including contacts from the church.

Jim Davis, prosecuting, said he advised or persuaded people to part with their money by telling them it would be invested in off-shore accounts.

But Mr Davis told the court interest payments were either late or not paid at all.

There was also evidence Jones had repaid an investor by using money he received from another, Mr Davis said, and that he also spent money on his own day-to-day living expenses.

The court heard Jones would send letters and emails in the name of his typist, without her knowledge, when people were pressing him to respond - such as “David is away on business at the moment” or “David is ill”, the BBC reports.

Jeremy Lasker, defending, said it had always been his client's contention the funds could be accessed. He served a document with up-to-date balances and said, given sufficient time, he could repay the money, Mr Lasker told the court.

Judge Parry told him: “You have admitted offences that have had a devastating impact upon the finances of numerous individuals. What they seek is re-imbursement of the investments by them, trusting in you.

“I make this absolutely clear - if £1,396,574 is not paid by April 18 next year, the sentence will be a significant sentence of imprisonment.”

 

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