FENLAND: Legal clerk facing 13 charges after nine month inquiry by Cambs Police
By JOHN ELWORTHY A LEGAL clerk who retired early to Spain four years ago, is to appear in court next week accused of siphoning off tens of thousands of pounds of clients money. A nine month inquiry by Cambs Police has resulted in 57 year-old Philip Nigh
By JOHN ELWORTHY
A LEGAL clerk who retired early to Spain four years ago, is to appear in court next week accused of siphoning off tens of thousands of pounds of clients' money.
A nine month inquiry by Cambs Police has resulted in 57 year-old Philip Nightingale being charged with 13 counts of deception, money laundering and passing clients' cheques into his personal account.
Nightingale, formerly of Cavalry Drive, March and latterly of Park Street, Towcester, Northamptonshire, was charged officially on Friday at Wisbech Police Station.
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Nightingale has been charged with:
n eight counts of obtaining money transfers by deception
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n two counts of money laundering
n three counts of re-directing clients' cheques to his own account
A police spokesman today described the total involved as "a significant amount."
Nightingale moved to Spain after leaving the Fenland firm of Bowser, Ollard and Bentley but returned to England following the police inquiry.
He retired from the firm in 2005 and with his wife Sue moved to live in a luxury mobile home in Spain. He has since brought the mobile home back to this country where he now lives with his wife in Northamptonshire.
Brian Bowser, senior partner of Bowser, Ollard and Bentley, said he had only known Nightingale since 2001 when his practice merged with Ollard and Bentley who had employed Nightingale since 1979.
Mr Bowser said today his firm had been working closely with police and had helped to identify all the clients who may have been affected.
"There's not a lot more to say, except to assure people that we have been in touch with everyone who is contactable and obviously we have indemnity insurers to cover any potential claims," he said.
"The response I have received from our clients has been one of being grateful for the fact we are dealing with it in an open and up front way and telling them what has been happening.