A Cheltenham solicitor and coroner has appeared in court charged with fraud and theft of more than £3.7m.

Alan Crickmore, who until December 2012 practised from his firm Alan C Crickmore, was charged with 13 counts of theft, seven counts of fraud by abuse of his position and one count of fraud by false representation between 1998 and 2011.

It is alleged that he changed the wills of dead clients and stole money from the estate of clients for whom he was acting as executor.

Crickmore, who was coroner for Gloucestershire, no longer holds a practising certificate.

Crickmore’s firm, which carried out family law, conveyancing, wills and probate and licensing work, was closed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in December 2010. Matters have been referred to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Crickmore appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court with Terrence Morris, 77, from Tunbridge Wells, who is charged with one count of fraud.

Both men were given unconditional bail until 12 June.