A solicitor has been jailed after using her role to steal tens of thousands of pounds from vulnerable people.

Fraudster Alison Griffiths, of Sheerwold Close in Stratton had power of attorney for two pensioners and abused that position and her clients’ trust to transfer a total of around £84,000 of their money into her own bank account.

The 55-year-old took around £49,000 from a 94-year-old woman between December 2018 and February 2021 through bank transfers and ATM withdrawals.

Police first heard of this offence in April 2021 after Griffiths admitted to her employer that she had stolen from the victim.

In February 2018, a few months before this first fraud began, she joined Optimum Professional Services to lead its wills and probate division.

While police investigated, officers received a second report of fraud against the suspect.

Between May 2020 and September 2021, she took advantage of an 80-year-old man by transferring around £35,000 of his money into her bank account while again acting as power of attorney.

His care provider contacted the victim’s family and informed them that they had been unable to take payment for care due to insufficient funds in his account, which led to the matter being reported to police.

Griffiths was further arrested and admitted to the offences during a police interview.

The elderly gentleman died in May 2023.

Swindon Advertiser: Alison GriffithsAlison Griffiths (Image: Wiltshire Police)

Griffiths appeared at Swindon Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud by abuse of position and has now been sentenced to 24 months behind bars.

DC Dominic Maidment said: “These are two awful situations where Griffiths has taken advantage of her position and stolen tens of thousands of pounds from two vulnerable adults, one of whom is sadly no longer with us.

“As power of attorney, Griffiths was expected to safeguard the finances of the victims and act on their behalf in their best interests.

“Instead, she has abused their trust by transferring significant sums of money from their accounts into hers, meaning that in one of the cases, there was no money to pay for the victim’s care.

“Wiltshire Police will always seek to protect the most vulnerable in society and pursue those who take advantage to benefit themselves.

“Fraud can and does devastate families. I hope that this sentencing sends a clear message about how seriously police and the courts take such offences.”

For more information about fraud and fraud prevention contact Action Fraud. Victims of fraud can contact them by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk