Arbroath solicitor to face trial over £500,000 embezzlement claims

A former solicitor is to stand trial accused of embezzling more than £500,000 from his clients.

Graeme Herald, who was a partner at Herald and Co Solicitors in Arbroath, is accused of stealing the cash between 12 October 2001 and 6 October 2006.

Dundee Sheriff Court was told the 55-year-old is said to have embezzled £570,046.47 in total.

Sheriff Kenneth McGowan fixed a trial date for 24 June, with a further pre-trial hearing earlier that month.

Improper accounting

The court heard the 55-year-old is alleged to have taken sums ranging between £2,000 and £90,000 from 14 separate clients, including £85,558.47 from the estates of four dead clients.

Prosecutors say the cash had been deposited with the firm by clients "in pursuance of their legal affairs".

Dundee Sheriff Court heard that Mr Herald is accused of having "appropriated the sums of money without lawful authority".

He is alleged to have taken it "without proper accounting" and "for his own use and purpose".

Mr Herald, from Edinburgh, made no plea to the indictment during a pre-trial hearing.

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