Partners call in Fraud Squad

The Fraud Squad is investigating a legal executive who worked with a Plymouth firm of solicitors.

Malcolm Stewart, who worked in the wills, trusts and probate department of Foot & Bowden's Derry's Cross office, was arrested on 1 December. He is on bail, pending further investigations.

Stewart, of Tavistock, had worked for the firm for around 20 years. He was sacked on the day of his arrest.

Foot & Bowden called in the Fraud Squad to investigate Stewart and gained an injunction freezing £285,000 of his assets. The injunction followed a four-day probe by Foot & Bowden's accountants.

The firm gained a second High Court injunction on 7 December, varying the value of assets frozen to £800,000.

Foot & Bowden partner Tony Jaffa denies client funds are in jeopardy. “There is absolutely no risk to any of our clients who have been affected or to their money. It will be recovered from [Stewart] and in the meantime we and the Solicitors Indemnity Fund will handle any claims.”