Financial exploitation of elderly and vulnerable persons are sadly all too common. In this blog post, we look at a recent case where Clarion helped rectify a case of elder financial abuse.
Clarion helped the executor of a woman’s estate secure a £200,000 judgment against the woman’s child, who took tens of thousands of pounds over a period spanning half a decade. We successfully obtained a judgment for the whole amount owed plus interest, along with an order that the child pay the legal costs of the proceedings.
The details of the financial abuse case
Clarion acted for the executor of Mrs A*. When the executor closed Mrs A’s bank accounts, they discovered several suspicious cash withdrawals. Further investigations revealed a pattern of regular withdrawals spanning half a decade. The withdrawals started off quite small, but soon grew to several hundreds of pounds at a time. Mrs A’s child (“the Defendant”) denied any wrongdoing.
We attempted to resolve the matter without recourse to Court proceedings, but the Defendant refused to engage in settlement talks. High Court proceedings were therefore issued.
At Court, it was successfully argued that there was a relationship of trust and confidence between Mrs A and the Defendant. After hearing our arguments, the Court was convinced the Defendant owed “fiduciary” duties towards Mrs A, which included a legal obligation to act in Mrs A’s best interests.
Detailed witness statements and bank statements were then produced to the Court to evidence the circumstances and the withdrawals, following which the Court ordered the Defendant to explain how the money was spent and, ultimately, ordering her to pay back the money that had been taken. We also obtained an order for interest on the initial amount and an order that the Defendant pay all the executor’s legal costs. The final judgment was for £200,000.
If you suspect a case of financial abuse, or if you are an executor concerned about unusual transactions in the deceased’s bank accounts, please contact Nicholas Choiniere at 0113 336 3349 or by email or any other member of our Contentious Private Client Team.
*real names have been omitted
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