Altrincham and Croydon-based law firm McGoldricks name partner Thomas McGoldrick was accused in court yesterday (14 Ferbruary) of stealing more than a million pounds from a disabled client.
McGoldrick, who is standing trial for fraud claims he was “staggered” after van driver Keith Anderson who was left paralysed from the chest down from a crash gave the solicitor half of the £1.8m he was awarded in damages.
Prosecuting barrister David Friesner of Nine St John Street told McGoldrick in court: “I’m suggesting you are a bent solicitor, dishonest, bent, dishonourable solicitor and have been for years.”
Friesner said McGoldrick was drowning in debts of around £1.4m, which included money owed on 13 credit cards and more than 30 loans.
Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester was told that McGoldrick spent thousands on foreign holidays, joining an exclusive golf club and lavishing money on his children.
It was alleged that the father-of-two financed his lifestyle by stealing more than £1m from Anderson as his firm struggled with massive debts.
McGoldrick said that he visited Anderson at his house they drafted a letter in which his client agreed to give him half the damages. Anderson, however, has told the court the letter is a forgery and he was “shocked” to discover the cash had gone.
McGoldrick was drowning in debt, the court heard, owing £1.4 million, including cash owed on 13 credit cards and more than 30 loans.
His extravagant spending included £3,500 to join Mere Golf and Country Club in Cheshire, £1,600 on a children’s climbing frame and a £15,000 kitchen, the court heard.
McGoldrick faces 53 counts of false accounting, two counts of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception, one count of forgery and one count of money laundering between December 1999 and September 2004.
He denies all the charges. The trial continues.