A court heard how a Leeds solicitor, who was jailed for two years and two months after stealing more than £50,000 from an 82-year-old client who was suffering from dementia, had known the woman well. She had been a close friend of Michael Rigg’s mother and had thought of the solicitor as a son.
He looked after her affairs when she had to go into a care home and, over a three-year period, stole £50,000 from her post office and bank accounts. He had used the money to pay for his own mother’s care fees and it also paid for a holiday to Switzerland.
Rigg, who admitted three offences of fraud by abuse of position of trust, was arrested after staff at a building society became suspicious and monitored the cash withdrawals. As the judge, at Leeds Crown Court said, he was in a position of great trust and responsibility and the client, as well as being a friend of the family, was extremely vulnerable and in need of protection.
It’s one thing to defraud client’s you barely know; that is bad enough, but to take from someone who had been so close to you and your family appears much worse, even if, as his barrister claimed, he did not use the money to make extravagant purchases.