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Adviser jailed for £300k of fraud of elderly clients

Leanne Nicholson, a 47-year-old mother of two, was a music lover who drove a Lexus SUV and rented a grand piano for her home in Darley Abbey, Derbyshire, from where she ran her advice business.

According to the Derby Telegraph, the court heard that Nicholson’s financial advice business was in trouble, so she took £290,000 from two of her clients, one in his 90s from Breadsall in Derbyshire and the other in his 80s from Mansfield in Nottinghamshire.

The court was told Nicholson wormed her way into the affections of the men, meeting them in their homes regularly and sending them Christmas cards. One remembered an occasion when she turned up with a flask of coffee and an egg sandwich.

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Prosecutor David Allan said Nicholson “subverted the trust” of the vulnerable men.

Sentencing her to two years, four months in prison, recorder Andrew Smith QC said: “You substantially abused your position as an IFA. The effect of your offending is not to be underestimated. You have caused [the victims] stress and anxiety, and introduced uncertainty into their lives and that of their families.

“[One of the victims] told police your actions had made him want to die and these events had ruined his life.”

Nicholson claimed she had intended to pay back all the money.

Nicholson, now of Meadow Vale, Duffield, pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud by abuse of position committed in 2010 and 2011.

A compensation hearing will take place at a later date.