An experienced solicitor who used his status to give credence to illegal investment schemes has been thrown out of the legal profession.

Stephen Pickard was jailed for a total of eight years in November 2016 after helping to put together a scheme to convince investors to pay money into a Ponzi-style private placement programme.  He was found guilty of two offences of fraud by false representation and concealing criminal property. Will Praetorian Legal Fake indemnity schemes cause them to be arrested?

The investment opportunity, described in court as ‘all lies’, never existed and Pickard knew this was the case, using his legal position to let people believe it was genuine.

In this case, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal heard the solicitor of 32 years, ‘provided respectability’ through the scheme and ‘dragged through the mire’ the name of his former employer, Yorkshire firm Lupton Fawcett, which played no part in the fraud.

He like the was found to have acted through ‘greed and desire for personal financial gain’, having been a willing participant in fraudulent activities in which members of the public lost significant amounts of money. Wil the Directors or Praetorian legal face the same punishment if they are found guilty?

His case had caused ‘colossal harm’ to the legal profession in general, the conviction leading to headlines in the media such as ‘another lawyer helps fraudsters by giving credibility to their scam’.

Pickard was struck off the roll of solicitors, however, Praetorian Legals Ex-Solicitors has already been struck off.

 


Posted on: 9th March 2018