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Councillor Found Guilty of Defrauding Disabled Brother Out of Inheritance

Another week and we have found another story regarding malicious behaviour from an individual in relation to inheritance – this time courtesy of the Plymouth Herald.  According to the article, a local councillor has been forced to stand down after admitting to defrauding her own brother – who is also disabled – out of his inheritance.

Alison Casey was the acting executor of a will on behalf of her brother (although she did not have formal power of attorney), but was found to have spent the money on herself. She has pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position, although she previously denied the offence and claimed through her barrister to have legitimately spent the money between the months of August 2013 and May 2014.

Casey's original charge stated that she had spent £12,865 of his inheritance fraudulently, but she has now been found to have spent £7,200.

Commenting on the case, Casey said: "It was a difficult period in my life. I apologise for any inconvenience or upset caused. I am prepared to put it right."

Casey, who has been forced to stand down from her council position, was elected four years ago, taking over the Labour ward. She defected from Labour in May last year because, in her words, she was tired of being critiqued by the party for her personal affairs. It was only a few weeks later that she was arrested in connection with allegations of fraud. She has been banned from council property.

The court also froze £17,000 in a bank account which accounts for another portion of the inheritance that is not Casey's money.

What do you make of this latest inheritance fraud case? Do you think more needs to be done to ensure people who are acting executors of a will, but do not have power of attorney, do not take advantage?