A former solicitor and serial fraudster has been jailed for a second time and ordered to pay £18,000 in court costs after being found guilty of various fraud offences.
Ian Macfarlane, a conveyancing specialist, denied six charges but was convicted of five of them following an 11-day trial at Bournemouth Crown Court. He was jailed for five years.
Macfarlane, 56, was previously a partner at Traill & Co, based in Blandford, but was struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in 2006 after he was jailed for the first time.
According to a statement by Dorset Police today, the court heard that Macfarlane identified freeholds of properties where the freeholder had been missing or absent.
He then falsified documents to Land Registry in order to transfer the properties into the name of his company, Kingston Property Management or other false names.
Once he became in control of the freeholds, he was able to demand ground rent, offer lease extensions and the sale of the freeholds to leaseholders.
The court heard he stood to gain in excess of £200,000 had he been successful.
Macfarlane was jailed on 3 October.
Macfarlane was previously jailed in 2005 for three years and nine months after he was found to have siphoned off around £2,000 a week, around £825,000 in total, from his former employers.
Macfarlane, then aged 46, took clients’ stamp duty into bogus accounts under the name ‘Ian Godfrey Revue’ or ‘I Revue’, instead of sending the money to the Inland Revenue.
Speaking following the latest sentencing, detective sergeant Tom Isaac, of Dorset Police, said: ‘The case started in 2011 and involved a complicated and extensive investigation into the possession of a number of properties.
‘I hope this sentence shows that we take allegations of fraud extremely seriously and will bring offenders to justice.’