Solicitor jailed for forging wills to cover up client money theft


Mold Crown Court: Davies apologised for actions

A former solicitor has been jailed for four years and two months after admitting forging clients’ wills for his own benefit.

Peter Charles Davies, 62, from Abergwyngregyn, near Bangor, Gwynedd, cost them £241,000 combined, Mold Crown Court was told.

Davies admitted seven charges including fraud and forgery between 2010 and 2016.

He admitted three fraud charges, two counts of forgery, concealing criminal property and using a false instrument by submitting a forged will to a probate registry.

Davies was struck off in 2017 after taking the money from a client under a power of attorney after he had died – sometimes from cash points as he had access to the client’s cheque book and cards – because he did not tell the bank.

He also crated false wills for other deceased clients to pay off the legitimate beneficiaries of the first estate.

He said the beneficiaries were “hassling” him to distribute money from the estate, so he faked the wills to access money from other estates.

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal said he thought it would be harder to detect his conduct given that both clients were dead.

His Honour Judge Rhys Rowlands in Mold Crown Court said Davies was receiving an average of £48,000 a year for five years on top of his salary.

“Quite what you did with all that money, only you know,” he said, according a local report of the hearing. “But the overwhelming inference is that it was not expended on everyday living expenses or debts. The effects on others have been profound.”

The judge described Davies’s actions as “a quite shocking breach of trust”.

John Wyn Williams from Exchange Chambers, mitigating for Davies, said his client had asked him to publicly apologise to the families affected, and his colleagues.

He said the defendant had amassed debts but that there was no extravagant lifestyle.

A total of £44,000 has since been repaid, the court heard, and there will now be an investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act.




Leave a Comment

By clicking Submit you consent to Legal Futures storing your personal data and confirm you have read our Privacy Policy and section 5 of our Terms & Conditions which deals with user-generated content. All comments will be moderated before posting.

Required fields are marked *
Email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reports

No larger firm can ignore the demands of innovation – that was the clear message from our most recent roundtable: “The law firm of the future”, sponsored by LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions. It comes in many forms, predominantly but not just technology, and is not simply a case of automating process. Expertise and process are not mutually exclusive.

Blog

22 August 2019

Mind the gap

The gap I am talking about is the one between what PII and the compensation fund covers. It is a surprisingly large gap and so far hundreds of clients, and millions of pounds, have fallen into it.

Read More

Loading animation