A crooked solicitor swindled £160,000 from two grieving relatives when administering the estates of their deceased loved ones, a court heard yesterday.
Tyrone Anthony Walker, 56, of Tower Road, Twickenham simply paid cheques into his personal bank account and tried to cover his tracks, the jury were told.
He has pleaded not guilty at Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court to seven counts of fraud, allegedly committed between 2008 and 2012 at south-west London’s Walker’s Solicitors.
Walker is accused of defrauding Hans Chand of £45,528 she was due from her deceased mother’s estate and £114,000 from Dr. Mark Downham, the beneficiary of his deceased uncle’s estate.
Prosecutor Miss Charlotte Newell told the court Walker took ‘loans’ from clients to finance a Bulgarian property investment and used his clients’ money to pay a £10,000 tax bill.
“He also used money to pay his partner five thousand pounds. He was using it as his private bank account.”
Walker was repeatedly disciplined by the Law Society and suspended for two years in 2011.
He tried to hide £29,300 he took from Dr. Downham by describing it as inheritance tax even though the estate was not subject to the charge.
The four Coventry Building Society accounts held by Miss Chand’s mother were not included in the estate, but used to pay another client’s stamp duty on a £785,000 Weybridge house.
“She should have had over fifty thousand pounds, but it was reduced to a few pence by supposed loans,” explained Miss Newell.
“He never paid that money back. She chased Mr. Walker for the money and he told her he had no funds and earned no money.
“She was fond of Mr. Walker and was apologetically asking for her own money and seemed to want to take him out for a meal before he moved to Dubai.”
The trial is expected to last two weeks………