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Leaseholder Jailed For Stealing £1 Million From Neighbours

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Leaseholder jailed for stealing £1 million from neighbours

Wednesday, 25th June 2014

A company director responsible for managing the finances of a block of flats has been jailed for defrauding his neighbours of more than £1 million.

Brian Copsey, 60, of Marville Road, Fulham was found guilty of fraud by abuse of position and was jailed for eight years at Southwark Crown Court on April 15. He was also disqualified from being a company director for 12 years.

The residents of Bryanston Court in Westminster set up two companies which collected and managed tenants’ money from service charges on the flats, as well as funds reserved for a major refurbishment of the building.

Copsey was entrusted by the board with the position of Finance Chairman and Director of both companies due to his background as a chartered accountant. As as result he was in control of the bank accounts that held the funds collected from the residents of the block.

Copsey was arrested on 28 October, 2012, after the board were made aware that a cheque for £1.8 million had bounced. A Westminster CID investigation revealed that over a period of more than two years, a large number of bank transfers were made from the two companies to two separate companies over which Copsey had sole control. He distributed the funds to a number of recipients including his wife, his two sons and to their private school in New Zealand for his sons’ tuition fees, and he also made payments towards his own personal bills.

It appeared that the total amount of money transferred from the accounts fraudulently by Copsey was £1,160,525.

Detective Constable Julie Jode of Westminster CID said: “Brian Copsey abused the trust placed in him repeatedly for almost three years. The victims were Brian Copsey’s neighbours, some of which were friends all living in the same block as him, some being elderly and retired, some who had to take loans out to pay their contribution to the service costs and refurbishments of the building.”

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