Former Rowanmoor Pensions managing director David Seaton committed suicide after police found he stole £1.1m from a client’s account, an inquest has heard.
Seaton, 56, told colleagues he would be back soon when he left his office in Wiltshire, the Daily Mail reports.
Instead, he drove to the North Cornwall coast, parked his car, left his mobile phone and watch, and walked around a mile to cliffs near Bocastle, where he jumped.
Speaking at the hearing in Truro, Cornwall, detective constable Andrew Cook from Wiltshire’s economic crime unit said: “From 1996 until late 2004 we discovered £1.1m was taken from that account. The vast majority of the money was transferred to International Finance Management, a company registered to Mr Seaton.
“The money was then moved into other accounts controlled by Mr Seaton, including family accounts. From then it is a matter of speculation from where the money went. I must assume that it went to fund Mr Seaton’s lifestyle but I don’t know.”
Rowanmoor company secretary Shirley Hylands told the hearing Seaton had been responding to emails on a Spanish lottery scam, “presumably in the hope of gaining some money”.
Hylands said the fraud was on the brink of being uncovered in June 2009, when the client appointed an IFA to scrutinise their accounts.
“One presumes that very soon that it would become apparent that the money was no longer there,” she added.