FINANCE NEWS: Struck off solicitor given five years for defrauding charity

A former solicitor has been sentenced to five years' imprisonment for defrauding a charity in Cornwall of more than £300,000.

Nicholas Walker, 67, pleaded guilty to three charges of deception and two charges of forgery of documents against the Helston Downland Charity. He asked for 85 other offences to be taken into consideration.

The charges against Walker included deception and forgery of the charity's annual returns to the Charity Commission.

Although struck off the solicitors' register, Walker told the trust, which makes grants to conservation projects, that he had retired from the profession.

Steve Grenfell, head of investigations at the Commission's Taunton office, said: "We hope today's sentence will stand as a warning to anyone who would consider abusing charities or the monitoring procedures of the Commission."

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