FENLAND: Legal clerk in court at Wisbech today on fraud charges totalling more than £400,000

PUBLISHED: 15:35 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 08:38 02 June 2010

Nightingale leaving court today. 4601BP88

Nightingale leaving court today. 4601BP88

A LEGAL clerk appeared before Fenland magistrates today accused of 13 counts of fraud totalling more than £400,000. Philip Nightingale, 57, spoke only briefly to confirm his name and date of birth when he stood in the dock at Wisbech to hear the charges

A LEGAL clerk appeared before Fenland magistrates today accused of 13 counts of fraud totalling more than £400,000.

Philip Nightingale, 57, spoke only briefly to confirm his name and date of birth when he stood in the dock at Wisbech to hear the charges read out.

They include counts of money laundering, re-directing clients' cheques to his own account, and eight counts of obtaining money transfers by deception.

Nightingale was accompanied by his solicitor, David Chapple, of Chapple and Co, March.

Nightingale said he understood the 13 charges read out to him and 30 additional offences: the total amount involved is £750,000.

He was given unconditional bail and committed to Cambridge Crown Court at a date yet to be fixed.

Nightingale, formerly of Cavalry Drive, March and latterly of Park Street, Towcester, Northamptonshire, was charged officially last month. He had returned from Spain in January.

Nightingale moved there 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 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 employed Nightingale for seven years when his practice merged with Ollard and Bentley who had employed Nightingale since 1979.

The full list of charges faced by Nightingale are:

1: Obtain a money transfer by deception

On or about September 20, 2000 at March in the County of Cambridgeshire, dishonestly obtained from the beneficiaries of an Ollard & Bentley Solicitors client account in the name of Mrs M Seymour a money transfer in the sum of £21,146.18 (twenty one thousand one hundred and forty six pounds and eighteen pence sterling) for yourself or another by deception, namely by falsely representing that funds from this estate client account were authorised to be paid to a bank account in your name.

2: Obtain a money transfer by deception

On or about June 7 at March in the County of Cambridgeshire, dishonestly obtained from the beneficiaries of a Bowser, Ollard & Bentley Solicitors client account in the name of Marjorie Peake a money transfer in the sum of £2,925.90 (two thousand nine hundred and twenty five pounds and ninety pence sterling) for yourself or another by deception, namely by falsely representing that funds from this estate client account were authorised to be paid to a bank account in your name.

3: Obtain a money transfer by deception

On or about August 2, 2001 at March in the County of Cambridgeshire, dishonestly obtained from the beneficiaries of a Bowser, Ollard & Bentley Solicitors client account in the name of Marion Negus a money transfer in the sum of £5,000 (five thousand pounds sterling) for yourself or another by deception, namely by falsely representing that funds from this estate client account were authorised to be paid to a bank account in your name.

4: Obtain a money transfer by deception

On or about November 27, 2001 at March in the County of Cambridgeshire, dishonestly obtained from the beneficiaries of a Bowser, Ollard & Bentley Solicitors client account in the name of Marion Negus a money transfer in the sum of £25,000 (twenty five thousand pounds sterling) for yourself or another by deception, namely by falsely representing that the Power of Attorney you held for her in your position as Legal Executive authorised you to arrange for this sum to be paid into a National Savings & Investments Account in your name.

5: Obtain a money transfer by deception

On or about March 19, 2002 at March in the County of Cambridgeshire, dishonestly obtained from the beneficiaries of a Bowser, Ollard & Bentley Solicitors client account in the name of Harold Jessup a money transfer in the sum on £10,000 (ten thousand pounds sterling) for yourself or another by deception, namely by falsely representing that funds from this estate client account were authorised to be paid to a bank account in your name.

6: Obtain a money transfer by deception

On or about September 16, 2002 at March in the County of Cambridgeshire, dishonestly obtained from the beneficiaries of an Ollard & Bentley Solicitors client account in the name of George Smith a money transfer in the sum of £24, 163.38 (twenty four thousand one hundred and sixty three pounds and eight pence sterling) for yourself or another by deception, namely by falsely representing that funds from this estate client account were authorised to be paid to a bank account in your name.

7: Obtain a money transfer by deception

On or about October 28, 2002 at March in the County of Cambridgeshire, dishonestly obtained from the beneficiaries of a Bowser, Ollard & Bentley Solicitors client account in the name of Thomas Moore a money transfer in the sum of £18,507.16 (eighteen thousand five hundred and seven pounds and sixteen pence sterling) for yourself or another by deception, namely by falsely representing that funds from this estate client account were authorised to be paid to a Cheltenham & Gloucester Mortgage account in your name.

8: Obtain a money transfer by deception

On or about October 31, 2002 at March in the County of Cambridgeshire, dishonestly obtained from the beneficiaries of a Bowser, Ollard & Bentley Solicitors client account in the name of Thomas Moore a money transfer in the sum of £22,664.93 (twenty two thousand six hundred and sixty four pounds and ninety three pence sterling) for yourself or another by deception, namely by falsely representing that funds from this estate client account were authorised to be paid to a bank account in your name.

9: Proceeds of Crime - convert criminal property - money launder

On or about June 6, 2003 at March in the County of Cambridgeshire converted criminal property, namely stolen money in the sum of £202,277.85 (two hundred and two thousand and twenty four pounds and forty nine pence sterling), by means of using forged documents to transfer money from a Bowser, Ollard & Bentley Solicitors client account in the name of Lorna Garton to a client account in the name of Nita Newton and then arranging for a transfer to a Lloyds TSB off shore account in your name.

10: Proceeds of Crime - convert criminal property - money launder

On or about October 5, 2004 at March in the County of Cambridgeshire converted criminal property, namely stolen money in the sum of £60,540.12 (sixty thousand five hundred and forty pounds and twelve pence sterling), by means of using forged documents and false representation to arrange a transfer of this money from a Bowser, Ollard & Bentley Solicitors client account in the name of Hugh Moss to a Cheltenham & Gloucester Mortgage Account in your name.

11: Procure execution of a valuable security

On or about April 20, 1990 at March in the County of Cambridgeshire, dishonestly with a view to gain for yourself or another or with intent to cause loss to another, procured the execution by staff at Ollard & Bentley Solicitors of a valuable security, namely a cheque in the sum of £2,300 (two thousand three hundred pounds sterling) drawn on the client account of Ronal Race, by deception, namely by falsely representing that funds from this estate client account were authorised to be paid to a bank account in your name.

12: Procure execution of a valuable security

On or about March 23, 1993 at March in the County of Cambridgeshire, dishonestly with a view to gain for yourself or another with intent to cause loss to another, procured the execution by staff at Ollard & Bentley Solicitors of a valuable security, namely a cheque in the sum of £6,232.57 (six thousand two hundred and thirty two pounds and fifty seven pence sterling) drawn on the client account of Adam Symington, by deception, namely by falsely representing that funds from this estate client account were authorised to be paid into a bank account in your name.

13: Procure execution of a valuable security

On or about September 9, 1996 at March in the County of Cambridgeshire, dishonestly with a view to gain for yourself or another or with intent to cause loss to another, procured the execution by staff at Ollard & Bentley Solicitors of a valuable security, namely a cheque in the sum of £17,747.13 (seventeen thousand seven hundred and forty seven pounds and thirteen pence sterling) drawn on the client account of Anthony Usher, by deception, namely by falsely representing that funds from this estate client account were authorised to be paid to a bank account in your name.


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