Law executive jailed for stealing half-million pounds

January 28th, 2012 - 7:27 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 28 (IANS) A young legal executive in Britian has been jailed for stealing nearly half a million pounds from clients’ accounts, causing a family-run solictior firm to go bankrupt and also leading to loss of 36 jobs.

Leanne Harris, 25, plundered the cash by writing scores of cheques so that she and her husband could enjoy a “frivolous and extravagant” lifestyle beyond their means, the Daily Express reported.

Harris, who had no legal qualifications, stole over 419,000 pounds (about $659,000) from five clients and the life savings of a 90-year-old, depriving her of the funds to pay nursing home costs.

The cheques were paid into the couple’s joint account over two-and-a-half years to pay mounting household bills and support an expensive lifestyle.

Harris was initially employed by the small firm of Arscotts, of Hove, East Sussex, in 2007 on a salary of 17,000 pounds. She impressed her bosses but later the relationship soured due to a series of personality clashes with staff.

She resigned two years later, but was kept on as a ¬≠consultant, a role that involved her taking clients’ files home. However, her contract was ¬≠terminated in 2010.

A routine investigation, later that year, revealed money missing from five accounts.

She pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud and one of theft at a brief court appearance last year.

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