Bogus accountant jailed for defrauding X Factor singer Rebecca Ferguson


A bogus accountant has been jailed for 16 months for swindling former X Factor singer Rebecca Ferguson out of thousands of pounds.

Rachel Taylor, 54, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court for defrauding the performer out of £20,972.30.

The court heard that Rachel, who's from Southport, was a friend of the singer's mother. She offered to give Ms Ferguson financial advice when the singer fell out with her management company in the autumn of 2012.

An agreement was reached whereby Rachel Taylor would look after Ms Ferguson's business affairs and she was paid between £500 and £600 a week. Ironically, Taylor convinced Ms Ferguson that she needed her support to avoid falling prey to conmen.

Around Christmas 2012, Ms Ferguson became suspicious. She'd paid £3350 to Rachel Taylor to set up a trust fund for her daughter but received no paperwork about it.

In a Victim Personal Statement read out to the court by the singer, Rebecca Ferguson said she was from a "humble background" and trusted Rachel Taylor.

She said that Taylor had posed as being concerned about her and claimed to be determined that Ms Ferguson wouldn't be used by unscrupulous people who would prey on her success.

Taylor's husband Raymond Taylor, 62, also pleaded guilty to dishonestly providing information to obtain a student grant and has been jailed for 5 months.

Geoff Fryar, Senior District Crown Prosecutor at Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: "This was a calculated and callous offence which exploited the trust which Ms Ferguson had placed with the defendant as a family friend.

"Rachel Taylor had no qualifications to have taken on the role of financial management and only the suspicions of Ms Ferguson eventually put an end to her offending.

"It is extremely ironic that Rachel Taylor, whilst claiming to protect Ms Ferguson from those who would exploit her, was doing just that herself.

"The sentence imposed by the court has provided Ms Ferguson with justice and hopefully will now close an unfortunate chapter in her life."