York & North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire solicitor stole £1.4m from law firm

A North Yorkshire solicitor who stole £1.4m from the law firm where he worked to fund an extravagant lifestyle has been warned he faces jail.

Simon Morgan, 50, and his wife Ann, 55, who was an office manager at Milners in Leeds, used the firm's money to pay for expensive holidays and private flights.

A jury at Leeds Crown Court found him guilty of six counts of theft.

His wife, who was also charged with the same offences, was found unfit to stand trial for psychiatric reasons.

But jurors decided she "did the acts" with her husband.

The court was told the money was used to put a deposit on a Ferrari, a family holiday for five to Antigua costing more than £20,000 and for flights by private jet.

Substantial salary

Company cheques were also used to pay off the couple's numerous credit card bills run up for hotels, designer clothes and meals at their favourite restaurants, including Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire.

Morgan, of Main Street, Bilbrough, near York, denied the charges of theft, which took place between January 2002 and July 2004.

The firm's partners were told Mrs Morgan had qualifications as a solicitor and as an accountant when in fact she had neither.

They agreed she would act as office manager, taking charge of the accounting, but would draw no salary as she had private means.

The court was told she not only drew a substantial salary but "took huge amounts of the firm's money as well".

Judge James Goss QC adjourned sentencing until 27 January to allow Morgan to sort out his affairs and for more information to be provided on his wife's condition.

However he told Morgan a prison sentence would follow "as you well know".

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