Fraud gang Solicitor sentenced

In proceedings at Southwark Crown Court Charles Spiropoulos, represented by Mansouri & Son, was convicted of conspiracy to defraud by false representation and sentenced to 4 years in prison for his part in a complex fraud where drug traffickers allegedly recruited a Land Registry employee, a Solicitor and a Bank Manager to help them defraud developers.
Mr Spiropoulos maintains that he was not involved or associated with the persons behind these frauds and that his services were “utilised by a sophisticated gang of criminals intent on defrauding the banks and the innocent genuine owners of these properties”.
An appeal has already been lodged, according to Mansouri & Son, but this sentence will serve as a warning to all conveyancers that criminal gangs are able to target conveyancing firms with such ease, abusing the system without the conveyancers knowledge.
Mr Spirolous maintains that the fraudsters provided all necessary identification documents supporting their claim to the properties and says that he carried out all the required due diligence checks, as recommended by both the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority. 
Are your systems secure?
Have you got the necessary procedures in place to avoid a similar fate?  Risk management is such a hot topic at the moment and this case highlights the importance of a robust risk management procedure.
One could argue that firms who carry out conveyancing on properties that are outside of their local area, for sellers or buyers outside of their local area, are at considerably more risk than local “high-street” firms.
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