A fraudster who posed as a barrister after tricking a London set into giving him pupillage has been jailed for 27 months.
Scott Willey, 27, worked on 18 family law cases after becoming fixated on a career in the law – one has already had to be re-heard.
Mr Willey, of Chatham in Kent, admitted three counts of fraud by false representation and one count of making an article for the use in fraud.
He also admitted one count of falsely implying to be a barrister and one offence under the Computer Misuse Act.
He attended City Law School but did not graduate and was never called to the Bar.
But he managed to secure a pupillage at 4 Brick Court, starting in October 2017, taking £16,000 from the chambers for pupillage and a further £757 in travel expenses.
Inner London Crown Court heard how Mr Willey hacked into a colleague’s email account and stole a copy of a practising certificate, which then he edited to pass off as his own.
He also provided another colleague’s Bar Council membership number to maintain the appearance of being a barrister to the Bar Standards Board and to the chambers.
Mr Willey used the fraudulent practising certificate to obtain a legal aid account and told the chambers he had passed the Bar professional training course with a mark of very competent.
His lies were eventually uncovered in June 2018 after discrepancies in the evidence he had provided about his qualifications came to light.
Detective Constable Gary Kearley of City of London Police said: “Willey went to extraordinary lengths to cover up his lack of qualifications and fool a professional chambers of law into hiring him as a barrister.
“By doing this he abused many people’s trust including his clients who looked to him for professional and legally sound advice and help.
“Thankfully his lies were uncovered. He will now have to ponder the consequences of his obsessive pursuit of a career in law from prison.”
The chambers has not responded to a request for comment.