A cashier at a leading international firm who stole more than £700,000 has been banned from the profession after being served a jail sentence.
Juliette Holland, who worked for Ince & Co for almost five years, was found to have misappropriated at least £727,597 of office money.
The Met Police confirmed Holland, 46, had pleaded guilty to fraud and was sentenced to three years and four months in jail at Basildon Crown Court on Tuesday.
A Solicitors Regulation Authority notice published subseuqently said Holland misappropriated the money between March 2013 and October 2015, when she left the firm. She had taken steps between these dates to try and conceal her actions.
The fraud was committed through ordering foreign currency using the firm's in-house exchange service (which was part of her role). She would receive this money and take it to a local foreign exchange and transfer it back into sterling. In total she made 349 separate foreign currency orders before the fraud was discovered by an employee of Ince & Co.
Holland was arrested on 6 April and chared on 12 May with fraud by abuse of position.
The SRA said Ince & Co has been able to recover less than 1% of the sum misappropriated.
The cashier, of Hockley in Essex, was found to have acted dishonestly and made the subject of a Section 43 order – effectively barring her from working for any regulated solicitors' firm.
The SRA said Holland, who must pay £600 in costs, had showed such conduct as to make it undesirable to be involved in a legal practice.
In a statement, Ince & Co said the issue had been an ‘internal matter that did not result in any losses to our clients’.
It added: ‘We concluded our investigations and took the necessary steps to ensure that it does not happen again some considerable time ago. Now that the justice system has run its course the matter is at an end and we will not be commenting further.’