Former Solicitor Commits Theft And Fraud Against Elderly Dementia Sufferers

An ex-solicitor who pleaded guilty to theft and fraud offences against elderly clients has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Based in Hove, Paul Arscott, stole nearly £110,000 from three elderly clients who suffered from severe dementia. He has been given an 18 month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after appearing at Chelmsford Crown Court last week.

The 49-year-old must also carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £20,000 prosecution costs.

In September, Paul Arscott pleaded guilty to four offences of theft and fraud after taking money from an elderly woman, over whom he had power of attorney.

It was discovered after an investigation by the Sussex Police Economic Crime Unit that Arscott specifically targeted three vulnerable clients over several years.

After having been given power of attorney and made executor of an elderly man’s estate, he stole £23,000 from the Brighton man who died in 2012, aged 91. The money, which had been left to a charity, was repaid back before the trial.

Again, in similar circumstances he acted for a 95-year-old elderly Hove woman who died in 2017, stealing £60,000 of her savings. Before the trial, he repaid £50,000 to her estate and has been ordered to pay back the remaining £10,000 plus £15,000 in compensation.

Sussex Investigators also found he had abused his position against another Hove victim, aged 76. Arscott was her solicitor and had power of attorney since 2013 but almost over a two year period he took £25,000 from her. He paid back the money after he was convicted but before he was sentenced.

Following the sentencing of Paul Arscott, Detective Constable Nikki Thiim said: “Arscott used his position as a solicitor and power of attorney to access monies to make himself a very rich man. The vulnerable elderly victims had no capacity to make any decisions and were considered to be suffering from severe dementia, so had no idea what the person who they have entrusted to look after them has been doing.”

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