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Judge brands adviser a disgrace over fraud

A financial adviser described as a “disgrace” by a judge has been jailed for four-and-a-half years for defrauding clients out of more than £200,000.

William Gale, 45, of Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, admitted obtaining property by deception and fraud by false representation before Lincoln Crown Court.

The court heard that Gale, when at Lloyds TSB in Boston, Lincolnshire, had been one of the bank’s most successful personal financial advisers.

However, when he set up on his own, taking some of his previous bank clients with him, he began to use their money to fund an extravagant lifestyle.

This included buying a Porsche, paying for cosmetic surgery for his wife and taking luxury holidays. Money was also invested in a property company that failed.

Evidence was given that Gale had specifically targeted three elderly customers in their 70s and 80s.

One client who lost £40,000 was so badly effect that his family believe his health deteriorated as a result.

When the fraud was eventually revealed and Gale was interviewed by police, he said: “It was money that the people would not have spent – it would just have gone to charity.”

Prosecutor Jonathon Dee said: “This man defrauded three elderly people who trusted him implicitly. It was done in order to finance an extravagant lifestyle.”

In mitigation for Gale, it was said that he had been a respected financial adviser who had now lost his good name.

Passing sentence, recorder Rupert Mayo said: “This was a gross breach of trust. You are a disgrace to your family and to other financial advisers.”

After the case, Lloyds TSB said that it declined to comment on the activities of former employees.

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