A financial adviser who stole more than £500,000 from his clients has been jailed for five years.
Stephen Smalley skimmed cash from five customers’ investments, including his father-in-law who had dementia, while working as a financial services manager at Forbes Solicitors.
The 49-year-old from Blackburn had worked for the firm for 19 years when he committed a ‘treble breach of trust’, Preston Crown Court heard.
Prosecutors said Smalley admitted helping himself to cash for nine years from clients he decided were “wealthy enough not to notice”.
He had a sophisticated technique of hiding his thefts, which included deleting paperwork, so as not to tip off colleagues or the firm’s compliance officer, the court was told.