Fraudster convicted of financially abusing a vulnerable, elderly lady.
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Date Published:07 Feb 2020 Last Updated:02 Aug 2021

Fraudster convicted of financially abusing a vulnerable, elderly lady.

Wills, Trusts & Probate

Ellis Jones assisted Dorset Police and the Local Authority Social Services Safeguarding team with an urgent application to the Court of Protection for an interim Court Order to allow them to investigate the financial affairs of a vulnerable elderly lady. The authorities believed the lady was being financially abused by a younger man who had befriended her, isolated her from her friends and placed both of her properties on the market for sale.

Despite the difficulties in gaining access to the lady, Ellis Jones persevered so as to discuss how we could assist her. This was extremely difficult as the man who was financially abusing the lady would not allow anyone access to her, nor entry into her property and moved her to another of her properties without advising anyone.

The fraudster referred to himself as the elderly lady’s “personal assistant” and moved in with her permanently, despite being married.

Through our vigilance we were able to obtain a Deputyship Order in respect of her property and financial affairs.

The Court of Protection knows the Partners are accountable and well used to dealing with complex cases. Various Partners are Deputies for other clients who have lost mental capacity to deal with their property and financial affairs and who have no trusted friends or relatives to undertake the role.

The man contested our application stating that the lady had mental capacity and did not want us to manage her finances but this was not upheld by the Judge at the Court of Protection hearing which Ellis Jones attended.

Working together with Dorset Police and Local Authority Social workers, it was possible to ensure that the mooted overseas holidays, sale of her properties and purchase of a farm, did not go ahead as the bank accounts were frozen.

Ellis Jones, who are experts with Court of Protection issues, were called upon to provide evidence and played a vital role in securing the fraudster’s conviction at the Crown Court hearing in Southampton. The jury found the man guilty of fraud by abuse of position and theft, resulting in a prison sentence of 3 years.

We are sure that this is not an isolated case and, through everyone’s vigilance, we can try to stop our vulnerable elderly population being abused in this way.

If you know someone who you are concerned about who does not have family or trusted friends, then contact us to arrange a no-obligation meeting with one of our experts in order to provide them with help, reassurance and guidance as we pride ourselves in being able to provide a wide range of expertise in a kind and compassionate manner. Call us on 01202 525333 or email us at wills@ellisjones.co.uk.