Paralegal stole £438k from law firm to fund gambling addiction

Jailed for 3 years

A paralegal who stole practically half one million kilos from a nationwide law firm to fund his gambling addiction has been jailed for over three years.

A court docket heard how Paul Younger, 38, “took advantage of flaws” in BLM‘s system to make 116 funds totalling £437,599 into his financial institution accounts over a three-year interval.

Manchester Evening News stories that the paralegal joined the firm’s Manchester workplace in early 2016 and handled solicitors who had been making private harm and car injury claims to insurance coverage heavyweight Aviva.

Father-of-two Younger used a comparatively new claims administration system at BLM that changed the previous apply of sending an e mail to the insurer requesting a cost, which in flip would require approval from Aviva.

Aviva reportedly accepted the cost requests with none checks, whereas BLM seemingly didn’t cross-reference the requests towards the related case recordsdata.

In October 2016, managers at BLM found that Younger was liable for making a cost of £5,099 into the incorrect checking account. He was disciplined by the firm however instructed managers he was struggling from psychological well being issues and “strenuously denied anything other than an error”.

But it surely wasn’t till 2019 that the extent of Younger’s fraudulent actions had been lastly uncovered, when a line supervisor turned concerned in a specific case and found £32,000 had already been paid out by Aviva in a collection of funds. This regardless of the claimant’s solicitors insisting that they had obtained no such funds.

BLM subsequently found the paralegal had authorized six funds between September 2017 and Could 2019 into his financial institution accounts, together with one wherein the firm paid his wage.

An extra investigation discovered Younger had organized 116 funds to his accounts totalling £437,598.79. He was sacked in the summertime of 2019 following a disciplinary listening to he failed to attend.

For the prosecution, Lincoln Home Chambers barrister Henry Blackshaw instructed the court docket how the cash was used on gambling web sites and residing bills, whereas virtually £185,000 was transferred to a pal, Liam Henry.

Younger’s barrister, Backyard Court docket Chambers’ Tom Wainwright, defined how the paralegal had “been getting support for his gambling addiction” and that “he’s no longer gambling”. He additionally stated his shopper had managed to repay £30,000 to BLM following the sale of a property.

Younger, who admitted fraud by false illustration, was jailed for 3 years and three months. Henry, 37, admitted to buying legal property and was jailed for 2 years and two months.

In 2020, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) handed Younger a piece 43 order, successfully banning him from working for law corporations.

BLM stated in an announcement:

“Paul Young was dismissed from BLM when it was established that his actions breached both his contract of employment and the SRA’s Code of Conduct. Mr Young’s conduct was immediately reported to the SRA and to Greater Manchester Police. Following a criminal investigation during which Mr Young pleaded guilty, he has been sentenced to three years and three months. We will always take a hard stance against theft and welcome the outcome. BLM has robust financial procedures in place to prevent any such incidents happening at the firm.”

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