A solicitor helped cheat a sixth-form college out of £730,000 which went to buy gold bullion, the Old Bailey heard today.
Andrew Wormstone received money from Oldham Sixth Form College meant to be for a builder.
Police arrested him after he transferred the funds to another account used to buy gold, jurors heard.
Wormstone, 43, of Ashworth Road, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, denies concealing criminal property of £2,634, and transferring criminal funds of £730,000 in March last year.
Martin Hooper, prosecuting, said the money was sent to Wormstone's law firm Velocity, in Leeds, after the college received a letter claiming its builder had changed its bank account.
After two days, most of the funds were transferred into an account of a "Mr Marshall", who has never been traced and who may not exist, said Mr Hooper.
He said: "We do not assert Mr Wormstone was directly involved in defrauding the college. His role takes place a slightly different time from that."
Wormstone told police he retained £2,634 for his fees and was acting on behalf of a client who wanted to invest in gold, and had not suspected anything was wrong.