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Disgraced solicitor back in the dock

Created on 11/06/2018 @ 09:09
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A solicitor who was jailed for six years for stealing almost £1.5 million from his clients will return to court to find out how much he will have to pay back.

The Shropshire Star reported over the weekend that David Vaughan Jones, 79, of Leighton, admitted a total of 24 fraud and theft charges between 1994 and 2015, but had been given a chance by a judge to pay back the £1.495 million he owed.

However, he didn’t and was jailed in May last year and re-appeared before Mold Crown Court for a proceeds of crime hearing, to decide how much of his criminal benefit could be confiscated. It was adjourned until July 20.

James Davis, prosecuting, said that one victim had already obtained £98,384 following civil proceedings, and his defence team said that funds were available and Jones had been to the Channel Islands on five occasions to try to sort matters out.

Jones, a founder member of the Evangelical Church in Newtown, conned friends and churchgoers by persuading them to invest in off-shore accounts to generate a higher rate of interest.

The court heard how Jones had lost five stone in weight since his incarceration, and Judge Parry agreed a defence request that £200 a month could be paid from a restrained account for Jones' living expenses while in prison.

He also agreed the £1,300 expenses for selling the defendant’s home could be paid from a restrained account and ordered that the proceeds of the sale of his car could be paid into the account.

Since being jailed, Jones had been in HMP Berwyn in Wrexham where he had been teaching inmates Welsh.

But now he has been moved to Altcourse Prison in Liverpool where, until the POCA proceedings are over, it is not possible to re-categorise his status as a prisoner.

He was struck off as a lawyer before describing himself as a financial adviser, tax consultant and accountant - although he was never qualified.

After admitting charges he was given a 'remarkable chance' by Judge Parry to pay money back, but despite claiming he would, no money was paid and he was jailed.

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