A barrister convicted of fraud offences amounting to £900,000 is to be struck off following disciplinary proceedings.
A five-person panel of the bar’s disciplinary body, the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service, chaired by His Honour Michael Baker, ruled this week that Bryan McNaught of Monmouth, South Wales, be disbarred.
It found he had engaged in dishonest conduct following convictions for a range of fraud offences involving sums amounting to £900,000.
The panel found that McNaught, who was not present and not represented at the tribunal, had engaged in conduct which was dishonest or otherwise discreditable to a barrister.
It heard that in 2011 McNaught pleaded guilty to 15 counts of fraud and dishonesty-related offences, for which he was sentenced to three years in prison.
In 2012 he was found guilty of three further offences, two of which were fraud-related. One of these was committed while he was awaiting sentence following his plea for the first set of offences.
The Bar Standards Board’s head of professional conduct Sara Down said: ‘Honesty and integrity are fundamental to ensuring public confidence in the profession. As a regulator, it is our duty to protect the public and promote high standards of behaviour for those called to the bar. On any view, Mr McNaught’s conduct was utterly unacceptable.’
It will now be for McNaught’s Inn to disbar him.