Charities sue disgraced solicitor over legacy money

Charities including the National Trust and Guide Dogs are suing a former solicitor, who was jailed for stealing money from a client account of the law firm she worked for.

The charities, which also include Yorkshire Cancer Research and the British Heart Foundation, say they missed out on legacy income from a will that the former solicitor, Linda Mary Box, was a the co-executor of.

Box was jailed in 2017 for seven years for theft, rising to a further eight added on if she failed to repay the stolen cash, amounting to £2.45m.

Legal documents filed with the High Court in Leeds show that the four charities are also suing the other co-executor of the will, Julian Sanderson Gill. The documents say that he “was unaware of her criminal activities”.

“There is no suggestion that he acted dishonestly in the course of the business of the Firm,” adds the documents.

Other defendants are the law firm where Box worked, Dixon Coles and Gill, as well as professional indemnity insurer HDI Global Speciality SE.

The firm, co-executor and insurer are all denying liability.

The legal documents detail how Box’s “modus operandi” was known as “teeming and lading”, where money is transferred to and from the legal firm’s client account ledgers in the same way a “Ponzi” scheme operates. This is a form of investing scam, which generates returns for early investors through money from new investors.

Another legal claim against Box’s crimes has been brought by the Bishop of Leeds, on behalf of Church of England organisations and charities “who assert that they have been suffered significant loss by Mrs Box’s criminal activities in her professional capacity”.

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