A former director of an alternative business structure has been barred from any involvement with another regulated firm after a string of compliance breaches.
According to a decision notice published by the Solicitors Regulation Authority today, Mohammed Yasin, an owner and manager of Ipswich-headquartered Mayland Porter Limited, made improper payments from the firm’s client account leading to a £3.6m cash shortage in 2017.
Yasin was found to have failed to replace the shortage promptly or at all.
The SRA said the non-solicitor allowed the firm to become involved in conveyancing transactions bearing the hallmarks of fraud. He also allowed the false and misleading documents, including correspondence and undertakings, to be provided to solicitors acting for other parties in conveyancing matters.
Client money was said to be transferred to third parties without authority or instructions from clients, and on one matter he transferred client money to a bank account in his own name.
The SRA also found Yasin failed to carry out adequate enquiries into the identity, employment history and practising status of an employee. He did not exercise appropriate supervision over the firm’s London office and the staff there.
Finally he failed to notify serious misconduct at the firm to the SRA and to co-operate with or engage with the SRA in connection with its forensic inspection of the firm. He also failed to manage an orderly closure of the firm in the interests of the firm’s clients and failed to co-operate or engage with the firm’s professional indemnity insurers in connection with its investigations.
A finding of dishonesty was made against Yasin, who resigned as a director in April 2018, and he was made subject to a disqualification order. This prevents him from managing or being employed by any licensed body.
His former firm, which was granted an alternative business structure licence in 2016, is currently listed as in the process of closing by the SRA.