Yet another recent case illustrates that the elderly and the bereaved are a target for those who seek to manipulate others for their own benefit.
An NHS bereavement services adviser from Leicestershire was jailed after being found guilty of stealing £3/4 million from the estates of deceased hospital patients.
The woman had befriended the patients and used the trust they bestowed on her to forge wills and other documents, allowing her to embezzle large sums from them. This had continued since at least 2002.
She pleaded guilty to 11 counts of forging wills and other documents, numerous charges of theft and other offences and was sent to prison for five years.
Proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 will now commence in order to confiscate, to the extent possible, her ‘criminal assets’ so that restitution can be made. One of the beneficiaries under a will which was replaced by a forged will was a charity, which had been bequeathed more than £200,000.