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Agent jailed for five years after taking £450,000 from elderly clients

An estate agent has been jailed for five years for taking more than £450,000 from elderly clients in Cumbria.

A BBC report says a judge at Carlisle Crown Court described Donald Scott as "devious and selfish" and said he abused his position of trust to take money from his customers to pay off his own debts.

Scott admitted 13 charges of fraud. His crimes took place between 2010 and 2015 and included forging signatures to sell off his clients' land entitlements and keep the profit for himself.

Judge Peter Davies told Scott a custodial sentence was inevitable because of the vulnerability of his elderly victims.

"It's not a just a case of money, it goes beyond that. It was their businesses, their lives were affected, their health was affected. They entrusted you with large sums of money and you betrayed that trust" the judge told the court. 

The BBC says Scott's victims trusted him with their retirement funds and paid him to help them claim EU subsidies. But, as his business fell into debt, he started selling off their land entitlements which they had used to claim the money.

One victim, a retired farmer, is reported to have lost all his savings of £200,000.


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