In shades of Iain Catto, the senior Scottish Conservative and lawyer who was jailed for stealing money from his disabled client, Thomas McGoldrick, a crooked lawyer who stole £1.25million he had won for a client paralysed in a crash. has also been jailed after a similar scam.
Strangely enough, a fairly well known Edinburgh solicitor is facing similar charges over doing another "Iain Catto" and also robbing a disabled client of a significant amount of money .. but so far the Law Society has refused to do anything about it.
Some in the profession must feel its open season on disabled clients - time to sort out the thieves among us ?
The Daily Mail reports :
Lawyer jailed after using disabled client's £1.25m payout to fund 'obscene' spending spree
By JAMES TOZER Last updated at 21:54pm on 22nd February 2008
Thomas McGoldrick: The court heard he squandered the stolen £1.25m on a life of 'obscene extravagance'
A crooked solicitor stole £1.25million in compensation he had won for a client paralysed in a crash.
Thomas McGoldrick, 59, was facing jail last night for blowing most of the payout on "obscene extravagance".
The money was supposed to fund a lifetime of care for 45-year-old Keith Anderson who had lost the use of his arms and legs.
But McGoldrick, who was massively in debt, used it to continue enjoying the high life with his millionaire neighbours.
The cash went on holidays to Portugal and Barbados and prep school fees for his two children.
McGoldrick also spent £15,000 on a new kitchen and drove a Mercedes and a Jaguar with personalised number plates.
By the time the lawyer was caught, only £224 of Mr Anderson's original £1.8million compensation award was left.
The victim, who had no idea his account was being emptied, was left so short of cash that he had to return a bike he had bought for his six-year-old daughter.
Yesterday a jury convicted Belfast-born McGoldrick on 59 counts of fraud.
He was remanded in custody to await what the judge said would be "a significant term of imprisonment".
Judge Roger Thomas, QC, told McGoldrick he had been convicted "on what is, quite frankly, overwhelming evidence of a very serious offence".
Home: McGoldrick's £800,000 property has been sold off
David Friesner, prosecuting, said McGoldrick had been leading an "obscenely extravagant" lifestyle and was a "dishonest, bent, dishonourable solicitor".
Mr Anderson crashed his company van in 1996 when he was working as a contract cleaner in Mitcham, South London.
He lost control of the vehicle late at night on a road flooded because drains had not been cleared.
He suffered a broken vertebra which left him paralysed from the neck down and in hospital for 18 months.
His wife contacted a local office of the firm run by McGoldrick for legal advice and in 2002 they sued the local council for negligence.
They won a £1.8million award largely because of the state of the road.
McGoldrick, who had loan and credit card debts of £1.4million, personally took over the case at his other office, in Altrincham, Greater Manchester.
Scene: Keith Anderson was left paralysed and needing compensation after he broke his neck in this 1996 crash
The first £500,000 of the payout went on fees and adapting a house for Mr Anderson.
McGoldrick advised his client to let him invest the rest in property to fund the £76,000-a-year annual care bill.
But over two years he plundered the property account to try to keep his massive debts under control.
The solicitor was also feeling the pressure from regular audits carried out by the Law Society.
Accountants spotted a series of irregularities in his financial dealings and alerted police.
They broke the grim news to Mr Anderson.
He told McGoldrick's trial at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester: "It was really shocking, I just couldn't believe it.
"I didn't let my family know until days after.
"I just couldn't think how like this could happen. Your solicitor is someone you have trust in.
"He gave me advice on everything. How could he do something like this to me?"
Mr Anderson's lost money has been returned through the Law Society's compensation scheme.
McGoldrick fled to the U.S. before he could be questioned by police, saying he needed to "clear his head".
Arrested on his return, he produced a letter in which Mr Anderson apparently offered to split his award 50-50. It was a crude fabrication.
Yesterday, he was convicted of 53 counts of false accounting, two counts of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception, one count of forgery and three counts of money laundering.
McGoldrick, who is married to Cheryl, who was a part-time secretary at his firm, has been declared bankrupt.
His £800,000 house in the village of Mobberley, near Knutsford in Cheshire, was put up for sale.