A former Hove solicitor has appeared in court charged with stealing £180,000 from three elderly clients.
Paul Arscott, 48, of Woodland Avenue, Hove, had power of attorney – or control – over the clients’ money because they lacked the ability to take care of their own finances.
Arscott appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court in Essex yesterday (Wednesday 14 February) charged with four offences of theft and fraud.
The charges were brought after an investigation by the Sussex Police Economic Crime Unit.
Arscott is charged with four offences
– theft of £40,000 from a Brighton man who died in 2012 aged 91. Arscott was given power of attorney and made executor of the estate. It is alleged that he stole the money which had been left to charity.
– fraud by abuse of position, obtaining £90,000 of savings from a Hove woman who died in 2017 aged 95. Arscott was her solicitor and was given power of attorney in 2011.
– two offences of fraud by abuse of position from a Hove woman currently aged 76. Arscott was her solicitor with power of attorney from 2013. It is alleged that in May 2014 and March 2016 he stole £25,000 from her and another £25,000 in January 2016.
Arscott did not enter a plea at the court hearing.
The case was committed for trial, with an initial plea and case preparation hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday 14 March.
According to the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Arscott voluntarily removed himself from the solicitors roll in 2014, giving up his right to practise.