Sunderland solicitor cheated grieving families in will scams

Robert Alan Cutty, 62, of Nevilles Cross Bank, Durham, outside Sunderland Magistrates Court where he appeared charged with fraud.
Robert Alan Cutty, 62, of Nevilles Cross Bank, Durham, outside Sunderland Magistrates Court where he appeared charged with fraud.
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A SOLICITOR had admitted swindling clients out of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Sunderland-based brief Robert Alan Cutty has been warned he now faces jail for breaching the position of trust he was in.

The 63-year-old, who is suffering from cancer, pleaded guilty to a string of offences when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday.

Cutty admitted transferring sums of cash totalling almost £200,000, including large sums from the estates of two people who had died.

All of the offences occurred in Sunderland while he was working with a city firm, and date back to 2003.

On August 22, 2005, Cutty obtained a money transfer for £52,567 from the estate of George Smiles by falsely claiming the money was for the beneficiaries of the Smiles estate.

On December 23 of the same year, he pocketed £57,437 from the estate of Catherine Beaney.

The court heard that in some of the offences the disgraced lawyer was acting as the executor of estate when he transferred the money into his account.

Cutty, of Neville’s Cross Bank, Durham, pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud and four counts of obtaining money transfers by deception.

He also asked the court to take into account a further offence of dishonestly transferring funds from a post office account.

Judge James Goss adjourned sentencing until July 23 for pre-sentence reports, and to allow Cutty to undergo further treatment for his cancer.

He was granted bail in the meantime.

But Judge Goss warned Cutty that a prison sentence was likely.

Judge Goss said: “I shall grant you bail, but please understand the fact I’m granting you bail and adjourning for pre-sentence reports does not indicate anything other than you will get a prison sentence for these crimes.

“These are serious crimes.”

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