Solicitors hit by fraudsters

From the Barking and Dagenham Post

Nearly £1m is missing after fraudsters targeted a Romford solicitors’ firm, the Recorder has discovered.

Fowkes & Son, based on Eastern Road, Romford was holding £1.7m of clients’ money in an account when its owners Olatubosun Daramola and Nefisa Mamudu sold it, in good faith, to the crooks, having bought it from long-term partner Peter Fowkes back in 2007.

When the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) intervened in February 2010, it found the company had been abandoned and £990,000 taken from the account.

An SRA spokesperson said: “The Fowkes & Son client account shortfall was, we understand, as a result of fraudulent activities carried out after Mrs Daramola and Mrs Mamudu had handed over control of the practice. This matter was referred to the City of London police.

“There is no evidence to suggest the client shortfall was caused by the former partners and the SRA has no matters it needs to pursue with them. The SRA continues to accept claims against its compensation fund from former clients of Fowkes & Son who may have suffered financial loss.”

Any former client of Fowkes & Son who thinks they may be owed money should call the SRA on 0870 606 2555.

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