Posted on 19th June 2014
An independent financial advisor who defrauded two elderly victims out of hundreds of thousands of pounds has been jailed for two years and four months.
Leanne Nicholson (47) took money from two of her clients after her company fell into financial difficulty. She used the money to fund her lifestyle – paying household bills, buying everyday purchases, paying for school fees, funding finance and debt recovery payments and also withdrew a large amount of cash.
One of her victims is a 94-year-old man from Derby and the other is an 85-year-old man from Mansfield.
She fraudulently took more than £290,000 from the two victims between January 2010 and August 2011.
One victim may lose his house and faces a large tax bill as a result.
The case came to the attention of police in May 2012 after one of the victims contacted Trading Standards.
The East Midlands Fraud and Financial Investigation Unit took on the case and began a long and complex investigation.
Nicholson, of 38 Meadow Vale, Duffield, was arrested and charged with fraud.
She pleaded guilty to six counts of fraud by abuse of position at a hearing on Wednesday, March 26.
She was sentenced at Derby Crown Court today (June 18) to two years and four months. She has also been declared bankrupt.
Detective Constable Julie Wheeldon, who led the investigation, said: “These men trusted her and she abused that trust. Her victims were elderly and vulnerable and that is why she preyed on them.
“It has had a devastating impact on their lives, emotionally as well as financially.
“We are pleased she admitted her crimes meaning her victims did not have to relive their ordeal in court.
"For her it was all about maintaining a certain image and lifestyle and she used other people’s hard earned money to do it.
“Our job is to protect and get justice for victims, particularly those who are vulnerable. We feel we have achieved that today.”