Police, Fire & Court

Pensby solicitor jailed for fraud

By Mary Wells

Solicitor Gregory Davies, of Kylemore Drive, Pensby, has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for a £13,000 fraud.

At Liverpool Crown Court he had pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by false representation.

The charges relate to his work as a solicitor at Liverpool solicitors firm, Catherine Higgins Law, between September 2015 and July 2016.

During that time he duplicated paperwork and created fake policy documents to request that money was paid into his own bank account. He also gave clients paying for services carried out his own bank details instead of those of his employer.

Davies also diverted money from people’s estates to his own bank account and on one occasion took £540 from the estate of a deceased woman which he disguised as being a payment for funeral costs.

The total gain made by Davies was £13,397.98.

Detective Sergeant Chris Hawitt said: “Davies carried out this fraud with a blatant disregard for his clients or his employer.

“I would like to reassure the public that reports of any kind of fraud are taken extremely seriously and will be thoroughly investigated.

“If someone believes they have fallen victim to any kind of fraud then I would urge them to contact Action Fraud via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 101 or the confidential Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.”

In a victim impact statement, solicitor and Davies’ employer, Catherine Higgins, said: “I placed my trust in Greg. I expected him to have the high standards and integrity I would expect from any solicitor. I came to regard Greg as a long-term prospect and hopefully my successor to enable me to eventually retire.

“We would talk and make plans for the future of the business and at no time did I suspect that he was committing fraud at the expense of the firm and our clients. When Greg’s criminal behaviour was uncovered I felt numb and sick. When it became clear that Greg had stolen from the firm, the feeling of betrayal was indescribable.”

Speaking after the sentencing Ms Higgins said: “I am pleased that these proceedings are now concluded. It has been a difficult time for me and my firm and I would like to thank everyone involved for their tenacity and patience. It is disappointing when a member of the legal profession falls below the standard required but I can assure my clients that in each case where a loss was identified, my firm has repaid that loss to the clients.

“When his actions were uncovered by his colleagues, only then was the full extent revealed. I immediately reported the matter to Action Fraud and the Solicitors Regulation Authority.”