Solicitor who forged documents and stole mortgage payments jailed
A dishonest solicitor who forged documents and stole clients’ mortgage payments after taking the reins of a law firm has been jailed today (June 8).
Andrew Davies, 34, was jailed for seven years and six months at Bolton Crown Court having pleaded guilty to more than 40 charges including fraud, forgery and money laundering at an earlier hearing.
The court heard how Davies took charge of an established conveyancing firm, Robert Meaton & Co, following the ill-health and subsequent death of Mr Meaton in 2012.
Davies then embarked on a series of fraudulent activities - forging legal documents such as bank statements and building regulation certificates.
Shortly after the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) began an investigation into the firm in 2014, Davies transferred six-figure mortgage payments from clients – one for £270,398 and another for £205,714 - into his own bank account.
In an impact statement, one victim said Davies’ actions in taking her mortgage payments had caused her significant stress and financial hardship during the late stages of her pregnancy.
The court was told that Davies’ actions caused losses to the regulator and the firms’ insurers which ran into millions of pounds.
Stephane Pendered, from the CPS, said: “Andrew Davies joined his law firm as a trainee but by the time he took over its operation he was repeatedly lying to clients and fellow employees and forging documents in order to cover up his lies.
“His actions spiralled out of control and when it became inevitable his lies would expose him, he stole six-figure mortgages from two clients, causing them extensive hardship and worry.
“The CPS worked with the SRA and the police to build a strong case against Davies, which ultimately resulted in his guilty pleas.”
Notes to editors
- Stephane Pendered is a Specialist Prosecutor in the CPS Specialist Fraud Division
- Andrew Davies [D.o.B. 02/05/1984] pleaded guilty to the following charges at Bolton Crown Court on 3 April 2018:
- forgery x19
- fraud by abuse of position x18
- transferring criminal property x4
- false accounting x1