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The Masked Tulip

Now Jailed - Swansea Solicitor Warned He Faces Jail After Fraud Trial Guilty Verdict

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Found guilty yesterday.

Worth reading the entire article:

A JUDGE has warned a solicitor found guilty of committing more than £650,000 worth of fraudulent mortgage transactions that he faces jail.

The jury took two-and-a-half hours to reach their unanimous verdict in the case of Benjamin Cornelius, who throughout his trial at Cardiff Crown Court flatly denied eight charges of fraud and eight of transferring criminal property.

Following the convictions, Judge David Wynn Morgan told the 37-year-old, of St Andrews Close, Mayals, that the only issue was the length of time he "will be detained in custody".

David Richards, 32, of Garth Road, Rhydyfro, Pontardawe, who pleaded guilty to fraud on the morning he was due to stand trial with Cornelius, will be sentenced alongside him tomorrow. Richards is currently serving a 12-year prison sentence for an offence of conspiracy to supply heroin.

In addition, Cornelius yesterday admitted a further charge of "doing an act intending to pervert the course of public justice".

The case against Cornelius was that he acted as a conveyancing solicitor in "mortgage or re-mortgage transactions" for eight dwellings in 2008 where he had provided the applicant "with funds to purchase the properties". This amounts to a conflict of interest as a solicitor cannot act when he has a personal interest.

At the time of the offences he worked at Swansea-based W. Parry & Co. His former employer William Parry told jurors the first he knew of the defendant's alleged conduct was when police turned up at his Walter Road office.

Cornelius, who owns a portfolio of properties across Swansea, had access to funds through a mortgage "draw down facility", his defence told the court. He funded four of the properties concerned for Richards. Other transactions relate to Cornelius advancing cash for his business partner Matthew Benjamin.

Full article:

http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/news/Solicitor-warned-faces-jail-fraud-trial-guilty-verdict/article-3341028-detail/article.html

Solicitor due to be sentenced

Judge David Wynn Morgan told Benjamin Jason Cornelius, 37, of St Andrews Close, Mayals, that the only issue was the length of time he "will be detained in custody".

He had denied eight counts of fraud and eight of transferring criminal property, but the jury of six men and six women found him guilty of everything, after two-and-a-half hours of deliberations at Cardiff Crown Court.

Cornelius, who has also admitted a further charge of "doing an act intending to pervert the course of public justice", will be sentenced alongside David Richards, 32, of Garth Road, Rhydyfro, Pontardawe, who previously pleaded guilty to fraud.

http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/news/Solicitor-sentenced/article-3345517-detail/article.html

The articles on the case:

http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/topics/company/cardiffcrowncourt

Edit:

Judge Morgan said that in "an act of mercy" he would allow Cornelius bail until his sentencing hearing.
Edited by The Masked Tulip

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A solicitor and a drug dealer.

Got all the bases covered.

I wonder what the sentence will be.

I always thought that they threw the book at fraud cases but the above article says he was given bail between conviction and sentencing. Sounds like it was just one night.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-12786950

A solicitor from Swansea has been jailed for fraud, money laundering and perverting the course of justice.

Benjamin Jason Cornelius, 37, of Mayals, was sentenced to four years and eight months at Cardiff Crown Court.

Police, who welcomed the sentence, said he fraudulently secured mortgage advances for a friend, David Richards.

Richards, of Rhydyfro, Swansea, was sentenced to 12 years for drug trafficking last year and pleaded guilty to the same frauds as Cornelius.

He was sentenced to 30 months to run alongside his current prison term.

South Wales Police said over an 18 month period the frauds enabled Richards to develop a large personal property portfolio in the Swansea area.

There will be a future confiscation hearing which will determine the extent to which Cornelius and Richards financially benefited from their crimes.

Speaking after the sentencing, Det Supt Chris Dodd of the Regional Asset Recovery Team said: "It is completely correct that any legal or financial professional who gives assistance or support to drug dealers goes to prison.

"Without dishonest solicitors, accountants and financial advisors, criminals would find it much harder to hide or try to legitimise their criminal property in order to retain it."

I think I will keep an eye on his house in the Mayals. Well, I have been doing so for some time - from a house price POV. ;)

Edited by The Masked Tulip

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Bump.

I thought there would have been more comment about this on here.

Edit:

I wonder how many more solicitors and associated housing professionals will end up in court in the coming years?

Edited by The Masked Tulip

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Bump.

I thought there would have been more comment about this on here.

Edit:

I wonder how many more solicitors and associated housing professionals will end up in court in the coming years?

I find it a travesty of justice that multi-millionaires/Billionaires are allowed to live in mansions/Estates/houses owned by off-shore ltd companies & off-shore 'trust' funds that can easily be funded by unaccountable large sums of money!

The other main reason being the super-rich avoid paying any death duties when passing said mansions/estates/houses on or any scrutiny of their 'accounts' by HMRC.

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Bump.

I thought there would have been more comment about this on here.

Edit:

I wonder how many more solicitors and associated housing professionals will end up in court in the coming years?

Isn't it interesting how the small fry get eaten, but the big fish swim free?!

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Solicitor's 'name in tatters' after being handed down 4-year jail term

http://www.thisissouthwales.co.uk/news/Solicitor-s-tatters-4-year-jail-term/article-3349383-detail/article.html

Following the verdicts he admitted a further offence of attempting to pervert the course of public justice, in relation to selling his Lamborghini Gallardo car for £89,000 when it was subject to a police restraining order.

The dad-of-two had applied to the court to vary the order so he could sell it, but it was later discovered that the sale of the car had already gone ahead months before.

Detective Superintendent Chris Dodd, said: "Without dishonest solicitors, accountants and financial advisers criminals would find it much harder to hide or try to legitimise their criminal property in order to retain it.

"We have no doubt that Cornelius knew what Richards's business was and that the financial benefit he received came from drug-dealing.

"His assertion during his trial that he was incompetent rather than dishonest was rightly rejected by the jury and was a final disgraceful lie. Cornelius has fallen a long way; he held a position of trust and respect in the community which he abused for personal gain and his professional reputation and career are in ruins."

Simon Beattie, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS South Wales, said: "Benjamin Cornelius was involved in a systematic abuse of his position over a prolonged period. He used his influence and know-how to construct a veil of respectability that assisted the activities of David Carl Richards. Mr Cornelius enjoyed a lavish lifestyle and therefore our colleagues in the police and CPS will now be seeking to make sure that the proceeds from his crimes are recovered and that he does not benefit financially from his activities."

A Proceeds of Crime Application hearing will be conducted in due course.

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That was his mistake. Should've made sure it was so huge that it was 'too big to fail'.

He must be the unluckiest man in the UK. There is a whole list of MPs, bankers, estate agents who have done worse and avoided prosecution now living on there fat pensions and fraudulent bonuses. Perhaps we should organise a collection for him.

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