An IFA has stopped a notorious gang of conmen preying on the disabled and elderly after spotting a series of suspect payments leaving his client's bank account.
David Rackham, a Havant adviser with Berry Birch& Noble Financial Planning, became suspicious when he saw thousands of pounds disappearing from his client Patrick Pitt's account.
Rackham, who has been Mr Pitt's adviser for 10 years, tracked the payments to a bogus address in Guildford and immediately contacted the police.
Mr Pitt, who has brain damage following a car accident, was the victim of the Brazil Gang, a family of bogus builders, who conned him into paying £55,000 for roof repairs that cost £5.60.
Leslie, Albert and John Brazil were convicted at Portsmouth Crown Court of conspiring to obtain £55,000 from Patrick Pitt and were jailed for six years, three-and-a-half-years and three years respectively. Two other people involved in the deception, Rachel Mitchell and Kamala Frankham, received 18 months' imprisonment and a 12-month suspended sentence respectively.
It is still not clear whether Rackham's client will get any of his money back once the court has assessed the remaining assets of the Brazil family.
Rackham says: “Our clients are everything to us and it really goes against the grain when you find something like this – I would urge any IFAs to be really vigilant.”