A disgraced lawyer who was caught stealing £280,000 from a lifeless pensioner’s property has been struck off.
Andrew Eastham, 66, was jailed in 2018 and his case has now been introduced earlier than a solicitors’ tribunal.
The tribunal heard he paid simply £7,500 to his late consumer’s rightful beneficiary whereas fraudulently taking the rest of the property – a complete of £279,000.
Eastham used the cash to spend £55,000 on an ‘extreme way of life’, and despatched nearly £150,000 to his cash-strapped ex-wife.
He withdrew £120,000 in money and practically £5,000 was paid to totally different debt firms.
Police grew suspicious when Eastham started making big funds and withdrawals regardless of having no supply of earnings.
The Blackpool-based solicitor was made an executor of Eric Woolfeden’s will within the early 1990s.
However when Mr Woolfeden handed away in Could 2014, Eastham was not practising.
The property ought to have gone to Mr Woolfeden’s niece Elaine Worth, who was 77 on the time.
However Eastham stopped speaking with Ms Worth after sending her a fraction of the cash. She then alerted police.
In October 2018, Eastham admitted fraud by abuse of place and he was jailed for 32 months.
Now, a tribunal has struck him off the solicitors’ register, and ordered him to pay £2,355.
The tribunal dominated his conduct was ‘dishonest’ and ‘extreme’.
‘Mr Eastham’s dishonesty concerned abusing his place as executor,’ the report stated.
‘The dishonesty continued over a sustained time period. His conduct enabled [him] to misappropriate a big sum of cash to which he knew he was not entitled.’
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