Solicitor stole pounds 930,000 from clients' accounts

A SOLICITOR was yesterday jailed for six years after admitting 22 charges of theft from clients involving more than pounds 900,000.

Michael Grant, 36, will spend the term at Ford open prison, West Sussex, where he is serving a 30-month sentence for a pounds 1.7m mortgage fraud.

Judge Geoffrey Rivlin said at Southwark Crown Court that between November 1988 and September 1990, Grant had 'raided' client accounts and taken more than pounds 930,000. But through loans and repayments he had reduced that figure to pounds 677,000. Staff at his firm, Michael A Grant and Co, which had three London offices, had confronted him in an attempt to turn off 'a flood of dishonesty', but to no avail.

Grant, who had an extravagant way of life, had continued to 'lie and cheat' until his eventual arrest.

The court was told that Grant was 'hopelessly in debt' when the thefts were discovered. A Law Society indemnity fund would have to pay a total of pounds 2m because of his actions.