Belfast Telegraph

Solicitor is charged with stealing £70k from estate

A solicitor has been charged at Banbridge Magistrates' Court with stealing over £70,000 from the estate of a dead woman
A solicitor has been charged at Banbridge Magistrates' Court with stealing over £70,000 from the estate of a dead woman

By Paul Higgins

A solicitor has been charged at Banbridge Magistrates' Court with stealing over £70,000 from the estate of a dead woman.

As well as being charged with stealing £73,844 from the executors of the estate of Catherine Hayes, Paul Downey (62) was charged with four counts of false accounting and nine counts of fraud by abusing his position between July 26, 2013 and April 4, 2014.

It is alleged that Downey wrote cheques between £11,000 to £17,000 to himself as well as transferring funds to himself and the office of Paul L Downey and Co. The false accounting offences allege Downey "destroyed, defaced, concealed or falsified" cheque stubs.

The case was scheduled for a preliminary enquiry yesterday but it was adjourned due to "medical issues". Downey, from Mount Royal in Banbridge, did not attend court. Defence counsel told District Judge Eamon King: "There is a medical issue after papers were served last week; these are quite technical."

The case was adjourned until September 9.

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