Former Welsh solicitor jailed for fraud totalling nearly £900,000 spent money from a dead person's estate

A 66-year-old man has been jailed for committing fraud whilst working as a solicitor in Mold, Wales
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Richard Hallows, of Hawarden, appeared at Caernarfon Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty to fraud by abuse of position, totalling £880,000 worth of loss.

Between 2016 and 2018 whilst acting on behalf of his clients, Hallows used funds that should have been held in client accounts for his own personal gain, exposing his victims to the risk of significant losses.

Police investigated five separate complaints of fraudulent activity, with the highest individual loss being £600,000. The total losses of the clients have been estimated to be in excess of £880,000. He received a sentence of for five years and 10 months.

Richard Hallows has been jailed for five years and 10 monthsRichard Hallows has been jailed for five years and 10 months
Richard Hallows has been jailed for five years and 10 months

Detective Constable David Hall, of the Economic Crime Unit, said: “We welcome today’s outcome which concludes the end of a protracted and challenging investigation.

“Those who commit fraud should be under no assumption that an outwardly respectable professional occupation will protect them from scrutiny.”

One client who requested the return of £600,000 worth of funds held in a client account was given numerous excuses by Hallows including missing a plane and train, that his ex-wife had collapsed, his daughter was in surgery and that the bank needed seven working days to process the request. The funds were not returned by Hallows.

Another client appointed Hallows as an executor of estate worth £143,000 following a family member’s death. Between 2016 and 2018 numerous excuses were given for not distributing the estate to the family. Following investigations, it was found that Hallows had used the funds for other matters.

DC Hall added: “Hallows was at the time an SRA regulated solicitor, operating his own practice. He took from the client account money to pay off his own financial liabilities rather than those of his clients.

“His behaviour has left a trail of destruction for victims who placed their trust in him and the professional services he claimed to offer. We will continue to work closely with partner agencies to bring anyone abusing their position of trust to justice.

“I would like to thank the Serious, Economic Organised Crime and International Division of the CPS and Prosecuting Counsel Nicola Daley for their advice and support during the investigation, bringing the matter to a successful conclusion.”

Claire Busby, Specialist Prosecutor at the CPS said: “Hallows abused his position of trust as a solicitor for his own personal gain and in doing so, put his clients at risk of huge financial loss. Confiscation proceedings will be pursued against Mr Hallows.

“The CPS are committed to working closely with the police to tackle fraud and bring offenders to justice and we will not hesitate to prosecute in cases like this.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.