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Ex-bank adviser guilty of £465k theft from elderly couple

Former branch-based adviser Mark Townson has been found guilty of stealing a total of over £465,000 from a 91-year-old client and her husband.

The Herald reports that Mark Townson took £385,090 from Mary McDowell and her now late husband between January and October 2011, by switching money between their accounts and then into his own account.

Townson withdrew a further £80,000 in December 2012.

He advised the clients initially at a Virgin Money branch in Glasgow. Legal & General has a bancassurance partnership with Virgin Money, and Townson worked for L&G for 18 years.

He was caught by his branch manager and was suspended on full pay, before being sacked and charged with obtaining money by fraud.

The jury at Paisley Sheriff Court took 56 minutes to convict Townson, and were unanimous in their guilty conviction.

A Virgin Money spokesman told the newspaper: “At Virgin Money we take the safety and security of our customers extremely seriously and the vigilance of our Giffnock colleagues has helped to identify this appalling crime.”

An L&G spokesman added: “This shouldn’t have happened. When it was discovered, we reported it to the police, apologised to Mrs McDowell, and ensured she got all her money back.”

Townson will be sentenced later this month.

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