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Solicitor who swindled £269,000 from his own aunt jailed

William Walls would withdraw her money before walking to own bank and depositing cash.

Dundee Sheriff Court: Walls was jailed for eight months.
Dundee Sheriff Court: Walls was jailed for eight months.

A solicitor swindled more than £269,000 from his own aunt after being put in charge of her finances.

William Walls, 62, was the sole partner in McQuittys law firm in Cupar, Fife, when he was given power of attorney over the bank accounts of his elderly aunt, Mary Brown.

With his business in financial peril, Walls, of St Andrews, began plundering her bank accounts to keep the firm - which specialised in property and estate agency - afloat for almost nine years.

His scheme was rumbled following a Law Society investigation into his business and questions raised by his family about withdrawals from Mrs Brown's accounts.

Walls was sentenced to eight months in prison on Monday.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard that in some instances Walls had been found to simply walk into a TSB branch in Cupar to withdraw cash from her accounts before walking the money 100 yards down the street to his own RBS branch to deposit it.

Walls, who gave up his practice in 2013 after being suspended by the Law Society, was formally thrown out of the profession at a hearing last month.

Defence solicitor Simon Collins said: "This was borne out of an anxiety of trying to keep this firm afloat.

"The money has all now been paid back. "

Sheriff Alastair Brown told Walls: "I recognise you have shown remorse and I recognise the effect of this conviction will be catastrophic but I can't avoid a custodial sentence."

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