It has been revealed that an independent financial adviser who was asked to help a vulnerable pensioner with her finances was, in fact, ripping her off. In an attempt to cover up his acts, David Bateman also told a number of lies when asked about the £50,000. He attempted to claim that it was the pensioner suffering from serious arthritis that had spent the money by going on luxury holidays and giving away very generous gifts. However, a Canterbury Crown Court was told that Mr Bateman had, in fact, kept the £53, 354 for himself. Bateman, who is from Dymchurch escaped prison because he admitted to the fraudulent acts although he was still lying to a probation officer that was preparing a court report.
David Howe, Mr Bateman’s attorney, told the Judge that his client had now accepted that he had in fact stolen the money. The Judge, Rupert Lowe, stated that it wasn’t uncommon for someone to take advantage of a person who has no close relatives in cases such as this. Howe replied that this hadn’t been his client’s intention and that he has since paid back the money but the judge pointed out that he’d only done this after he was caught.
Bateman had permission to withdraw money from her account but a county official from Kent County Council had noted in August 2015 that the 80-year-old hadn’t paid her £1200 care package despite the fact that she had £105,000 in 2013. When it was checked, it was discovered that the victim’s savings were now only £29,000. Bateman had accepted that he had fraudulently taken £53,354 from the family friend but proceeded to lie when he was asked about the missing money.
He claimed that she had given him gifts of between £20,000 and £30,000 and had also gone on very costly holidays. The prosecutor stated that Bateman had since paid back the money plus £1,747.23 for lost interest. Bateman had apparently assisted the lady to manage her finances for several years since she didn’t have any close relatives. Bateman hasn’t been able to work in the same capacity since he was arrested.
The judge issued a suspended two-year jail term plus 250 hours of unpaid community service. He was also told to pay £150 to cover the prosecution costs and a £2,500 fine. Mr Bateman will no longer be able to work as a financial advisor.