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Adviser jailed after stealing £55,000

A former Park Row financial adviser has been jailed for 16 months for stealing a total of £55,000 from clients.

Norman Rusell, 60, from Ellon, Aberdeenshire, admitted embezzlement charges when he appeared before Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

The court heard that Rusell had embezzled £20,000 in 1997, while working with Liverpool Friendly Society; £25,000 in 2003, while working with Aberdeen firm Park Row Associates and £10,000 also in 2003, while working with First 4 Financial Planning of Rhynie, Aberdeenshire.

There was no question of any involvement in the frauds by the firms he worked with.

Evidence was given that Rusell had been driven to embezzlement after getting into financial difficulties and being threatened with bankruptcy by the Inland Revenue.

Rusell had worked in intelligence and security at the GCHQ communications centre at Cheltenham, before starting his career as a financial adviser, the court heard.

Rusell’s deceit was uncovered when one client became suspicious over paperwork inaccuracies. It was then revealed that Rusell persuaded clients to make out cheques in his name to be invested in bonds or Isas. But instead he took the money himself.

After the case, Rusell’s victims spoke out angrily in interviews with local media. One elderly pensioner said: “I knew him for 20 years. If it had been someone new, it would not be so bad but someone you have known for that number of years, you just don’t ex- pect that.”

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