Crooked lawyer who stole £150,000 from clients is put be­hind bars for three years

Macclesfield Express - - ELECTIONS 2015 -

A SOLIC­I­TOR who stole nearly £150,000 from clients in a fraud has been jailed for three years.

Steven Ron­ald Shep­herd, 54, con­fessed to rip­ping peo­ple off dur­ing his time as a part­ner at Shep­herd Evans So­lic­i­tors on Lit­tle Street, Macclesfield, where he han­dled crim­i­nal and pro­bate mat­ters.

The largest amount was £100,000 which he stole from a San­dra Mid­dle­ton be­tween Novem­ber 1, 2010, and Jan­uary 8, 2011 as part of a high value civil case. Shep­herd, of Cas­tle Hill, Prest­bury, ad­mit­ted eight charges of fraud and one charge of false ac­count­ing at Manch­ester Min­shull Street Crown Court.

The court heard that Shep­herd’s crimes were un­cov­ered dur­ing a fi­nan­cial au­dit in Novem­ber 2011.

De­tec­tive Constable An­thony Con­don, from the Cheshire Po­lice Eco­nomic Crime Unit, said: “As the re­sult of our in­ves­ti­ga­tion we have been able to prove that Mr Shep­herd abused his po­si­tion as a solic­i­tor and had stolen funds from the es­tates of de­ceased par­ties and from civil cases he was man­ag­ing.

“He also fal­si­fied doc­u­ments and cheques to con­ceal the fact that he had mis­ap­pro­pri­ated funds from client ac­counts.

“Th­ese funds were used to pay Mr Shep­herd’s per­sonal tax li­a­bil­ity and were also used for his own dis­posal.

“Shep­herd’s mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of funds has caused a great deal of up­set for the fam­i­lies who trusted him to man­age their per­sonal af­fairs with re­spect and dig­nity.

“It has also caused a large amount of stress for Shep­herd’s ex-part­ner in the law firm, Mr Evans, who was com­pletely un­aware of Shep­herd’s crim­i­nal be­hav­iour.”

Shep­herd’s for­mer busi­ness part­ner Chris Evans said: “I am ex­tremely re­lieved that af­ter three and a half years jus­tice has been done.

“I am grate­ful to my fam­ily and friends for their loyal sup­port through­out this or­deal and whilst he has been or­dered to pay some com­pen­sa­tion he will never undo the dam­age he has caused to my­self and oth­ers around him.”

Other frauds com­mit­ted over the two-and-a-half year pe­riod in­cluded £10,999.30 from Mrs P Nield in 2009; £13,747.96 from Mr W M Atkin­son in 2010; £3,702.04 from Mrs J Mad­docks in 2010; £11,341.58 from S Seaton, now de­ceased, in 2010; £1,862.45 from Mr A A Mid­dle­ton on 2011; £1,184.12 from Mr J P Eaton in 2011; £2,280.50 from Mrs D He­witt on 2011.

The to­tal of the fraud was £145,117.95.

●● Steven Shep­herd

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.