Independent  

Retired IFA who duped victim out of £50K jailed

Retired IFA who duped victim out of £50K jailed

A retired independent financial adviser, who stole about £50,000 from a disabled woman in her 80s, has been jailed.

Michael Price, aged 73, of Morgan Way, Peasedown St John, was jailed for three years at Bristol Crown Court on Friday (March 15).

Price was convicted of fraud by abuse of position.

He stole about £50,000 from Bristol-based Eileen Chiswell between 2013 to 2016.

Ms Chiswell, who was aged 88 and a double amputee, passed away before the Crown Prosecution Service decided to charge Price.

According to Avon and Somerset Police, Ms Chiswell placed her confidence in the former financial adviser, trusting him with her bank cards on the pretext that he was helping and advising her but Price exploited her lack of mobility.

Price began working as financial adviser to Ms Chiswell, a widower, in 2013, dealing with her tax returns and managing her investments.

When she went into hospital in 2015 she gave the financial adviser a debit card to withdraw money she needed but he did not return the card.

She became suspicious when she noticed that her bank balance was less than she had expected, discovering a large number of cash withdrawals and transactions had been made without her knowledge and consent.

A confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Act will take place later this year at Bristol Crown Court on a date to be confirmed.

Det Supt Marc Milliner of Avon and Somerset Police's Complex Crime Unit said: "The significant custodial sentence handed to a man in his 70s of previous good character reflects what a dim view the courts take on professionals who abuse their positions to exploit the vulnerable.

"This case was particularly abhorrent as Price took advantage of the victim's circumstances to feed his own greed. The victim was widowed, elderly and immobile through her disability. She trusted her financial adviser to act in her best interests but he betrayed that trust and confidence.

"Hopefully a case such as this demonstrates that even when a victim has died prior to the suspect being charged, the police will do everything in their power to bring to justice those who target vulnerable victims,"

emma.hughes@ft.com