Friday, June 26, 2009

Scots chartered accountants ‘are too dishonest’ to handle wills & executries as ICAS pulls out of rights of audience battle for legal business

ICAS LOGO 2Scots accountants regulator ICAS have withdrawn their application for rights of audience. The choice of which professional should ruin your legal & financial affairs after you are dead, is to remain unchanged for now, with the revelation that the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland have put 'on hold' their application to the Scottish Government for extended rights of audience to handle clients wills & probate services - work currently undertaken exclusively by solicitors.

Scottish GovernmentScottish Government made a short admission on accountants rights of audience battle. A spokesman for the Scottish Government today said : "ICAS have put their application on hold meantime. We will proceed once we hear from them again. We have no correspondence from ICAS other than the application. We had a telephone conversation with them some months ago but have heard nothing since."

ICAS had applied for rights of audience to the Scottish Government in July 2008, under the terms of Sections 25-29 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Act 1990, which I reported on in an earlier article, here : Accountants demand powers to handle wills & legal services, offering 'crooked' self regulation and little consumer protection in return

The 2008 application came after ICAS had tried unsuccessfully to amend the Legal Profession & Legal Aid (Scotland) Bill 2007, to enable accountants to enter the legal services business, which I reported on earlier, here : Scottish Accountants try to amend LPLA Bill for their own benefit - but refuse independent regulation safeguards for the consumer

A solicitor welcomed the news that ICAS had pulled their rights of audience application, claiming that accountants could not be trusted to handle the wills of dead clients, and warned the public there were little safeguards in the event a crooked accountant made off with the client’s money.

He said : "Considering accountants have little or no experience in the field of handling probate work in Scotland, and clients have even less safeguards in terms of protection from rogue accountants ruining their business, I doubt it would be in the consumer's best interests at this point in time to allow accountants to handle clients post-death affairs. I would therefore not advise a potential client or any of your readers to trust an accountant to 'wind up' their legal affairs according to their will."

Norman Howitt Accountant JRW Group Hawick Scottish BordersThe case of Scottish Borders accountant Norman Howitt (pictured left) made it dangerous to allow accountants to handle a client's will. The solicitor went onto continue his critique and suggested accountants be barred from any involvement with wills : "On the basis of the now well known case involving your own family and the accountant Mr Howitt who was executor to your family’s ruined estate, I have advised and put off several clients from appointing their accountant as 'executor' to their will. After having read of Howitt’s actions in your case, I feel accountants and others close to the deceased's financial affairs should be banned from becoming executors on wills they are closely linked with or are handling via their firms either in a personal or business capacity."

You can read more about the way in which an accountant in the Scottish Borders, Norman Howitt, helped a solicitor also in the Scottish Borders, Andrew Penman of Stormonth Darling Solicitors, Kelso, ruin my family's legal affairs, and how they got away with it, here : A picture is worth a thousand words - Images of fraud reveal corruption & deceit by lawyers & accountants in the Scottish Borders

While for now, chartered accountants in Scotland do not have the right to handle wills & probate services, they can conduct similar business in England & Wales, which you can read more about HERE

There are numerous reported cases where accountants, acting in the capacity as executor, have totally ruined the estates of deceased clients. Take it from me, there is as little protection against a crooked accountant robbing your life savings or ruining your legal affairs, as there is against a solicitor doing the same.

Often I have found, from not only the case involving my own family’s legal affairs, but also those many more cases brought to my attention by you, the public, that crooked lawyers, and crooked accountants seem to make a good team taking as much money for themselves as they can get before actions are discovered.

It is also a fact the Law Society of Scotland and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, both self regulators of their own professions, work together closely on many issues, and proliferate each other’s aims on occasions of investigations into crooked lawyers & accountants, by appointing each other’s members to their in-house committees, a subject which I tackled earlier, here : Fears over corrupt self regulation as accountants regulator draft in ex Law Society President and solicitor as Public Interest members

I would therefore recommended that members of the public who have already appointed an accountant as 'executor' on their will should immediately replace that person or their firm with someone who is a lot less involved in their financial or legal affairs and ensure whoever that person is, they are appointed with a set of specific instructions on what they can and cannot do, with a given timeline & cost not to be exceeded for the completion of their work.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the Law Society felt that this step onto its own lucrative patch was a step too far - even although one of their own was appointed a 'Public Interest' member by the accountants.

Anonymous said...

"Considering accountants have little or no experience in the field of handling probate work in Scotland, and clients have even less safeguards in terms of protection from rogue accountants ruining their business, I doubt it would be in the consumer's best interests at this point in time to allow accountants to handle clients post-death affairs. I would therefore not advise a potential client or any of your readers to trust an accountant to 'wind up' their legal affairs according to their will."
===================================
I would not trust a lawyer either, Jesus Christ, you would think lawyers are angels the way this lawyer is talking. This has nothing to do with experience in probate work. It has everything to do with lawyers keeping this work for themselves.

Regarding safeguards what do we have to protect us from lawyers, The Law Society? That is the joke of the century. What's the phrase again, I smell bullshit.

Any person who would trust a lawyer with their assets after reading this must be mad.

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree Peter.I wouldn't trust an accountant as far as I could throw a lawyer!
They are as crooked as eachother !

Anonymous said...

Lawyers and accountants both prfessions are criminals.

Anonymous said...

A partner in a law firm is standing trial for allegedly supplying four men with cocaine from his law firm's office where he was a partner. One man later died of a suspected overdose.

Grant O'Conner 37 will stand trial in December in Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Will Paul Mc Bride defend him?

Anonymous said...

Looks like a fall out among thieves to me and anyway who would be nutty enough to make an accountant their executor after reading about that Howitt guy ?

Anonymous said...

Peter you said

"I can safely say, I would not believe Philip Yelland, if he said the sky was blue".

I am the same I would never trust any self regulator.

Anonymous said...

Interesting development but a friend of mine told me ICAS were given strong hits to hold off after you tore MacAskill to shreds on the ACA's application and all that trouble you stirred up with Lord H.
The long hand of Peter Cherbi strikes again ?

Anonymous said...

A solicitor welcomed the news that ICAS had pulled their rights of audience application, claiming that accountants could not be trusted (NEITHER CAN LAWYERS IN MY VIEW) to handle the wills of dead clients, and warned the public there were little safeguards in the event a crooked accountant made off with the client’s money. (SAME AS LAWYERS, IT IS LIKE SAYING TO THE PUBLIC TRUST THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS SCOTLAND OR THE LAW SOCIETY, BOTH ARE EQUALLY POWERFUL, CORRUPT AND SELF REGULATORY, A JOKE THAT IS WHAT THIS STATEMENT IS. TRUST NONE OF THEM, THEY ARE ALL DISHONEST BASTARDS).

Anonymous said...

A lawyer or an accountant? It is like saying who do you want to deal with, Hitler or Stalin. A monster with a small moustache or a monster with a big moustache. The result will be the same, no rights.
It is like choosing between cyanide and xyklon B. Take your pick.

Anonymous said...

Your conclusion : I would therefore recommended that members of the public who have already appointed an accountant as 'executor' on their will should immediately replace that person or their firm with someone who is a lot less involved in their financial or legal affairs and ensure whoever that person is, they are appointed with a set of specific instructions on what they can and cannot do, with a given timeline & cost not to be exceeded for the completion of their work."

Probably that's the best piece of advice in this case and I hope people pay attention.Having a lawyer or an accountant as executor on a will is just asking for trouble and as you have said before Peter you just can't trust either.

Good work as always and I'm sure ICAS are squirming a wee bit tonight!

Anonymous said...

so what we have here is a choice between having one crook (a lawyer) rob your family and another crook (an accountant) from robbing your family.

Disgusting.These evil people should be vilified like pedofiles and locked away from society or flown into the sun.

Anonymous said...

It is also a fact the Law Society of Scotland and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, both self regulators of their own professions, work together closely on many issues SO TRUST NONE OF THEM, EVIL ROBBING PEOPLE. I HATE ALL OF YOU.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers, accountants, doctors. may as well have Hitler's SS for protection because legally you are against the equivalent of the Nazi's. These professions are unaccountable therefore criminal. the most evil humans on Earth.

Anonymous said...

Hey wasn't one of the Law Society lawyers attacked or something and he was an accountant too ? So when they aren't trying to kill each other they are trying to kill their own clients !

Anonymous said...

Spot on Peter.We dont need accountants or lawyers handling wills and stuff like that because as soon as they get their hands on a clients money its gone.
Better to give it all away before death,let the dog eat it or even burn it than let lawyers or accountants get their greedy mitts on it!

Anonymous said...

A lawyer or an accountant dealing with our money?

A lawyer saying the public cannot trust an accountant, he must be mad.
Has he escaped from Carstairs? Look at the lawyer crooks reported in the press. Does he not see them, stupid bastard.

Anonymous said...

It is a fact of life they the most warped crooked people blame others. Like lawyers saying you cannot trust accountants and visa versa.

Trusting one of them is like going for a swim with a great white shark or a tiger shark, a true dilema. Now there's an idea, feed lawyers and accountants to sharks, that would be nice to watch.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say I am absolutely disgusted by what lawyers and accountants are getting away with.Get it stopped NOW.

Anonymous said...

Self regulation means you can steal legally. That rules these two professions out, better spend it all before you die, than leave it for these maggots to deal with.

Crooks at the complaints office, checking the work of their own crooks handling your
money means cover up. This means you have no legal rights.

Lawyers and accountants will stab each other in the back to gain access to your money. So they will stab you in the back too.

Anonymous said...

THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS CODE OF ETHICS SCOTLAND.

Integrity - a professional accountant should be straightforward and honest in all professional and business relationships;

Objectivity – a professional accountant should not allow bias, conflict of interest or undue influence of others to override professional or business judgements;

Professional competence and due care – a professional accountant has a continuing duty to maintain professional knowledge and skill at the level required to ensure that a client or employer receives competent professional service based on current developments in practice, legislation and techniques. A professional accountant should act diligently and in accordance with applicable technical and professional standards when providing professional services;

Confidentiality – a professional accountant should respect the confidentiality of information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships and should not disclose any such information to third parties without proper and specific authority unless there is a legal or professional right or duty to disclose. Confidential information acquired as a result of professional and business relationships should not be used for the personal advantage of the professional accountant or third parties; and

Professional behaviour – a professional accountant should comply with relevant laws and regulations and should avoid any action that discredits the profession.

ALL VERY GOOD BUT WHO DECIDES IF AN ACCOUNTANT WORKS BY THESE ETHICS?

YES IT IS THE INSTITUTE OF CHARTERED ACCOUNTANTS SCOTLAND. WHAT DID THEY DO TO NORMAN HOWITT?

Anonymous said...

I have a very good friend who is a CA but I'd be buggered if I made him as my executor !
Better to appoint the wife or one of my kids.

Anonymous said...

Conservative leader David Cameron has said his party was wrong in the past to oppose Scottish devolution.

Mr Cameron told a BBC TV documentary the Tories were right to point out the potential problems of such a move.

But he added they should have paid more attention to "legitimate" pressure for self-government in Scotland during their time in power at Westminster. (HE SAYS NOTHING ABOUT ENDING SELF REGULATION).

The Conservatives opposed devolution until 1997 when Labour's victory paved the way for the Scottish Parliament.
(NOW THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT MUST END SELF REGULATION FOR ALL PROFESSIONS).

Anonymous said...

Lawyers and accountants, can rob the public with impunity. Trust none of them.

Peter Cherbi said...

Thanks for all your comments on this article.

I certainly agree that neither an accountant or a lawyer should be trusted with clients money ... they are definitely as bad as each other, as has been my own personal experience, and the experiences of thousands before & after me.

Naming & shaming is one way of helping to prevent the same crooked lawyer or accountant doing the same to someone else but of course, self regulation for lawyers, accountants and all other professions must be ended and until that is the case, there can be no trust attached to these professions, just as we have seen (and continue to see) in politics.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I have a very good friend who is a CA but I'd be buggered if I made him as my executor !
Better to appoint the wife or one of my kids.
12:38 PM

I agree with this statement, wise man.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff.I didn't know the law society and icas were so much in cahoots.Better to stay away from both if you value your money and your life as the man says !

Anonymous said...

Yes Peter trust is the word, and when someone tells asks me to trust a lawyer, I get that sinking feeling.

Self regulation means that when you complain about any of the self regulating professionals, the people meant to look after you are worse than the one you are complaining about. That is my experience, the corruption gets worse the higher you go. Lawyers, politicians, doctors, accountants, public bodies, are barriers to justice and it will be impossible to establish trust as long as they decide the outcome of complaints against their own colleagues.

So if you lot want to be trustworthy, you know what the solution is to this serious problem.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of these lawyers should be given ASBOS and also the crooked accountants.They spend long enough moralising to the rest of us but they are just a pack of bloody crooks so lets tag them with what they tag everyone else with

Anonymous said...

If the lawyer who advised us not to trust an accountant, tells us who he is, I will trust him with my estate on one condition.

A law firm publicly states they will sue him on my behalf if he steals my money.

Anonymous said...

Lancashire Evening Post in Preston
Sunday, 28th June 2009
Dishonest lawyer struck off

A lawyer from Preston built up a property portfolio by taking more than £238,000 from clients, including First World War veterans, a tribunal heard.
Ian Desmond, the 53-year-old former chief executive of the Lancashire law firm Marsdens, was struck off by the Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal after it heard details of "the most appalling dishonesty". He now faces a police investigation.

Inderjit Johal, for the Law Society, said Desmond was a trustee of the estates of two dead clients, Thomas Smalley and Richard Tomlinson, as well as a charitable trust called the Old Men's Brotherhood, set up to provide support for First World War veterans.

When the Law Society launched a probe into Desmond's affairs in March 2005, they found a shortfall of £188,000 in Mr Smalley's client account, £8,000 missing from Mr Tomlinson's account and a further £42,000 shortfall in the Old Men's Brotherhood account.

Desmond, of Mallowdale, Fulwood, admitted dishonestly misusing clients' funds and the tribunal ordered he should be thrown out of the profession and ordered him to pay costs of £3,623.

The panel heard that Desmond resigned as chief executive of Marsdens, based in Ribblesdale Place, Preston, on February 4 last year. A spokesman for the law firm said the clients affected had been fully compensated.

THE LAWYER ADVISES PETER'S READERS NOT TO TRUST ACCOUNTANTS. THE EVIDENCE HERE SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.

Anonymous said...

Corrupt lawyers can be named and shamed on website


Thursday November 10 2005
THERE may be "wigs on the screen" after "corrupt" solicitors, barristers and judges are named and shamed on a new website.

A group calling itself Victims of the Legal Profession Society (VLPS) has purchased the domain name www.rateyoursolicitor.com and plans to use the site to expose "rogue solicitors".

Ken Murphy, director general of The Law Society, yesterday said he had "no comment" on the proposed website.

John Gill, spokesman for the VLPS, claimed: "I have talked to at least 600 people who have been victims of this judicial system. The judiciary are corrupt as hell, they should stand down or be put down. We plan to list all rogue solicitors on our website - they are giving poor people the run-around," he said.

While the site is being constructed, he has called on the public to email the names of members of the judiciary and legal profession that they have concerns about to lawyercatcher@lawyer.com.

Mr Gill was particularly anxious that lawyers were aiding the theft of land and building sites, the fraudulent probate of wills, covering up for double charging and taking large sums of money from clients' accounts.

The VLPS described itself as a rapidly growing organisation with more than 500 members. The society, of which Mr Gill is a founding member, was started in early August 2001, with the first meeting in Athlone that month.

It claimed a critical analysis of the "immoral and unethical conduct of many members of the legal profession" found the following:

* Large sums of clients' money being removed from trust accounts without the clients' knowledge.

* Perjury in the courts by members of the legal profession.

* Altered and distorted contracts and wills - falsified to deprive clients of sums of money.

* False registration of property and in many cases small, inaccurate prices appearing on the Deed of Transfer; in effect, denying the State the full amount of stamp duty.

* Files going missing.

MISTREATED

The VLPS believed the best long-term solution to help clients who felt they were mistreated would be the establishment of a legal ombudsman.

This would bring far-reaching changes to solicitor-client relationships, improve the manner in which cases are dealt with and eliminate malpractice.

The society said the Government had failed in its 1997 general election manifesto pledge to appoint a legal ombudsman.

Currently, people can complain to a disciplinary tribunal which deals with misconduct cases.

The web as a weapon:

- Helen Bruce and Kieran Dineen

Anonymous said...

WARNING, LAWYERS AND DOCTORS DO NOT WANT YOU TO KNOW THIS, BECAUSE THEY WILL LOSE EARNINGS.

If you try to sue your employer when your injuries are not visible this will happen.

Your GP, all consultants you see who prepare medical reports, your lawyer and your employer will be insured by MARSH UK Royal & Sun Alliance.

These people will lie in medical reports, your GP will state you have mental health issues even if you have never seen a psychiatrist.

How can they do this and get away with it?

If you complain to NHS Primary Care they will protect your GP, and all NHS consultants.

If you complain to The Law Society of Scotland/Scottish Legal Complaints Commission they will protect your lawyer.

If you complain to the General Medical Council they will protect all doctors.

If you could eventually prove in a court of law these people have lied, covered up what has happened to you, you will NEVER GET TO COURT, because,

You will need a lawyer to take your case who is a paid up member of the Law Society of Scotland.

All lawyers are insured by Royal & Sun Alliance, so they will not seek damages for you for two reasons,

Professional loyalty.

lawyers insurers would put their premiums up if they have to pay damages to you. ALL OF THESE PEOPLE ARE CRIMINALS YOU CANNOT BEAT THROUGH OUR CURRENT LEGAL SYSTEM.

If you have been injured at work, and your injuries were not visible, your GP and all of the above have covered up what happened to you TO PROTECT THEIR OWN INSURANCE COMPANIES. THIS IS WHY EMPLOYERS ARE ALWAYS INSURED BY MARSH UK ROYAL & SUN ALLIANCE BECAUSE THEY KNOW IN LITIGATION OTHER PROFESSIONALS INSURED BY THE SAME COMPANY WILL COVER UP WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU THE EMPLOYEE.

Anonymous said...

Kenny MacAskill

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. [Matthew 6:24]

We know where we stand Kenny, as you believe we owe a great debt to the legal profession, it is time for you to go to those you are devoted to. You are a justice minister for lawyers.

Anonymous said...

New laws target rule-breaking MPs.

Well Harriet Harmen, jail the crooks now. Then look at new laws.

Do you want the electorate to trust politicians? You are in the same league as doctors' lawyers, accountants, etc.

Anonymous said...

THIS IS FROM ONE OF PETER'S EARLIER ARTICLES.

Petition PE1197 - Allowing non-lawyers to enter the legal services market :

A Petition by Bill Alexander calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to reform the legal system to adopt the Scandinavian system of allowing unrestricted access to legal representation before the court for example by allowing non-lawyers to appear in court on behalf of other parties.
===================================
Kenny MacAskill will never allow this, as his colleagues would lose much needed revenue. Clearly this man belongs with Mill, Pritchard, Yelland, Masterman, and the one who was under the influence, oh yes, Scanlan. They are terrified of the implications of crushing the lawyers monopoly on providing legal services.

If this was one supermarket selling to the public, the Monopoly's Commission would have something to say about it.

Well people of Scotland, why should any Scottish lawyer work hard for you when their masters at the Law Society, SLCC cover everything up?

Self regulators and self protectors, are the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Douglas Mill said

"But you go abroad and you get the feel-good factor, and you come back to what I have to deal with five days a week - and you feel like opening your wrists and lying in a warm bath."

Oh Douglas, you would not be missed.

Anonymous said...

A journalist friend of yours sent me a text to read your icas article.I had problems with an accountant in the Borders too who embezzled about £90,000 from my business over about 3 years.The case is still to come to court and icas have done everything in their power to stop it going ahead and I had extreme difficulty in getting a lawyer to help me on this as every legal firm in the Borders refused to take the case claiming they all did business with my ex accountants firm.Also since its theft and not negligence the insurers are still putting up obstacles to paying out.
Ive never met such a bunch of crooks in my life.It makes having your own business not worthwhile if you cant do your own accounts which is the lesson I'd ask everyone to learn.Forget employing an accountant,you are much better doing your own books than taking some highly qualified thief who will end up letting you down.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1:09

Good afternoon,

In understand your situation, I could not get a lawyer to sue a lawyer and a doctor. They block anyone who is a monetary threat or if someone can damage reputations.

There are many more people in your situation. You are correct highly qualified criminals they are, licenced to steal because their own protect them. A look through any of the pressure groups website will show people what they would have to deal with.

The problem with these people is that they think your money is their own. I hope you get your money back. Why don't you name and shame the lawyers who would not help you on Solicitors from Hell, after your court case is finished.

Anonymous said...

The case is still to come to court and icas have done everything in their power to stop it going ahead and I had extreme difficulty in getting a lawyer to help me on this as every legal firm in the Borders refused to take the case claiming they all did business with my ex accountants firm.

THIS IS ITSELF IS CRIMINAL, BEING LEFT WITH NO REPRESENTATION BECAUSE SOMEONE KNOWS SOMEONE. THE SYSTEM IS SELF PROTECTING, HOW CAN PEOPLE GET JUSTICE AS LONG AS THIS PREVAILS?

Anonymous said...

How come I didn't read about this on the ICAS website ?
They seem a touch shy on speaking about it ..

Anonymous said...

AOL NEWS

The Queen and the Royal Family

The total cost of keeping the monarchy increased by £1.5 million to £41.5 million during the 2008-09 financial year.

Palace accounts also showed that the Queen dipped into a reserve fund to boost her Civil List by £6 million.
===================================

Well my dear old Lizzie, one is lucky, one is recession proof, try living on unemployment benefits for a year because some bankers sunk the economy quicker that a U Boat would sink one's Royal Yacht. It is most distressing I can assure one.

Anonymous said...

People who self regulate are all corrupt, because the Douglas Mills of this world protect them.

Anonymous said...

Why do lawyers get such a bad name?

Niall McCluskey feels that the hatred of legal professionals is, on the whole, ill-conceived, as the vast majority are honest and necessary.

Well Niall if you are correct there cannot be any reason for preventing a complaints handling system devoid of lawyers. Then we could see how clean and honest you all are. It is a contradiction in terms, for the Law Society to secretly deal with complaints, if the vast majority of lawyers are honest. But of course Naill, your idea of honesty may be light years away from clients perceptions. If lawyers are so honest why are, high court judges, sheriffs, advocates, and lawyers accused of corruption not using the law of defamation. I think the EVIDENCE Naill points to the fact that we are right and you are wrong.

Anonymous said...

If doctors and lawyers are allowed to lie in court, and they do it comes as no surprise that a lawyer or doctor in legal trouble has mental health problems.

I always watch these cases and mental health problems always surface, and this is what affected the professionals judgement. They are not crooks, it was the stress of the bipolar disorder that made them act criminally.

To put it bluntly, the public know this is bullshit, another example of keeping the rats out of the prison where they belong.

Anonymous said...

DO NOT TRUST ACCOUNTANTS

Conman accountant faces having £710K fortne seized

Dec 7 2008 By Norman Silvester

A CROOKED accountant could have his £710,000 fortune seized.

Robin Jenkins' £350,000 home and bank accounts have been frozen under proceeds of crime laws.

The 54-year-old dad-ofthree is serving four years and four months for two frauds worth £85,000 and £130,000.

He used the cash to fund a lavish lifestyle, including stays in five-star hotels.

The Crown Office now want to seize his assets.

But his victims have taken the unusual step of legal action to get their money back instead of it going to the Government.

Ex-employers Plastic Mouldings in Irvine, Ayrshire, want £238,642 and timber merchant J Callander & Son of Falkirk want £97,574.

Jenkins, of Fintry, Stirlingshire, was convicted of stealing £130,000 from Plastic Mouldings at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court and sentenced to 32 months.

He was also given 20 months at Falkirk Sheriff Court for stealing £85,000 from J Callander & Son.

He did not tell either he was jailed for two years in 1996 for stealing £176,525 from Barclays Bank.

An ex-colleague said: "He was plausible with an authentic-looking CV."