A conveyancer who concocted a scheme to divert client cash to herself - but who abandoned the plan without collecting the money - has been removed from the profession. Non solicitor Lisa Wilson, who formerly worked in the conveyancing department of national firm Shoosmiths, was found to have taken a cheque and amended the payee's details to her name.
According to a Solicitors Regulation Authority notice published this week, Wilson then drafted a letter in the IT system to give the impression that the cheque had been sent and went to a shop to cash it.
Wilson then changed her mind while she was in the shop and left without receiving the money. Her conduct was found to be dishonest and she resigned from the firm in June 2017, having worked there for five years.
Wilson no longer works for a law firm and she will now be subject to a section 43 order preventing her from being employed or remunerated by any regulated solicitor without SRA permission.
Meanwhile, the SRA confirmed it has imposed the same sanctions on a former conveyancing paralegal at Middlesex firm Johal & Co. Anthony Maragh, a non-solicitor, was convicted in October 2015 after admitting making false statements to under-declare the value of 43 properties on stamp duty land tax returns.
The affected clients paid the correct amount of SDLT to the firm and Maragh, who had worked there for 14 years before his dismissal in April 2015, used the difference for his own purposes. The SRA confirmed his conduct resulted in him personally receiving around £310,000.
Maragh was sentenced to 40 months’ imprisonment on 13 November 2015. It is unknown whether he is currently working in a regulated practice.