Swindon solicitor jailed after stealing £84k from elderly clients

Alison Griffiths, 55, abused her position as power of attorney for clients to steal tens of thousands of pounds. Credit: Wiltshire Police

A solicitor from Swindon has been jailed after stealing tens of thousands of pounds from two vulnerable people.

Alison Griffiths, 55, of Sheerwold Close, Stratton, Swindon, appeared at Swindon Crown Court after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud by abuse of position.

She was sentenced to 24 months in prison.

Between December 2018 and February 2021, Griffiths stole around £49,000 from a 94-year-old woman over whom she had power of attorney, transferring money from the victim’s account to her own and using the victim’s account to withdraw substantial sums from cash machines.

This was reported to police in April 2021 after Griffiths admitted to her employer that she had stolen from the victim.

During the investigation into this offence, officers received a second report of fraud against the suspect. Between May 2020 and September 2021, Griffiths took advantage of another victim, an 80-year-old man who passed away in May last year.

Again while acting as power of attorney, Griffiths transferred substantial sums of money from the victim’s account into her own, to the amount of around £35,000.

The offence was reported to police after a care provider contacted the victim’s family informing them they’d been unable to take payment for care due to insufficient funds in his account.

Griffiths was arrested and admitted to the offences during interview.

DC Dominic Maidment said: “These are two awful situations where Griffiths has taken advantage of her position and stolen tens of thousands of pounds from two vulnerable adults, one of whom is sadly no longer with us.

"As power of attorney, Griffiths was expected to safeguard the finances of the victims and act on their behalf in their best interests.

"Instead, she has abused their trust by transferring significant sums of money from their accounts into hers, meaning that in one of the cases, there was no money to pay for the victim’s care."