News

Solicitor struck off after fiddling train fares to pay LPC debts

By on
16

Tribunal accepted young lawyer was under huge post-education financial pressure — but fraud is fraud

Lead

A young solicitor has been struck off the roll after fiddling train fares in a bid to raise cash to pay off student debts.

Nancy Lee — formerly an associate at London West End law firm Russells Solicitors, who qualified in 2009 — was convicted of fraud at a London magistrates’ court two years ago.

The offences involved the making of five false claims for refunds on tickets from various train companies, with Lee fraudulently stating that she did not use them because a family member had died. The scam was uncovered during a train company audit.

The Nottingham University law graduate avoided jail, but was handed a community order and a bill for £700-plus in compensation. But the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) struck her off at a hearing in the middle of June, the report of which has just been published.

Since her conviction, Lee has moved to Australia where the tribunal heard she was in low paid work and unable to afford the fare to return to London. Her parents represented Lee at the SDT.

The tribunal heard that the Lee’s fraud was triggered as a “consequence of being in debt through having to repay money she had borrowed to fund her university and Legal Practice Course fees”.

According to the SDT report:

She said that the long journeys to and from her place of work each day left her ‘exhausted and stressed’, which led to a ‘lack of judgment’. She also indicated that she accepted that her ‘behaviour has fallen below the standards of conduct expected of a solicitor’ and must be ‘subjected to disciplinary procedures’.

The tribunal approved an application for costs against Lee of more than £2,300. But it also accepted that the former solicitor’s financial circumstances were difficult and ruled that the costs order could not be enforced without leave of the tribunal.

Read the report in full below:

Lee

16 Comments

Anonymous

Represented by Mrs John Lee and Mrs Irene Lee… You’d have at least thought a tribunal with such serious consequences could at least get through page one without a typographical mistake.

(9)(0)

They're a very modern family

You never know

(7)(0)

Anonymous

A sorry state all round. No wonder she is too ashamed to return to the UK.

(6)(10)

Anonymous

It’s hardly crime of the bloody century now it it – idiot

(8)(7)

Anonymous

Its a dishonesty offence you thick shit!

You can get away with almost anything in law aside from dishonesty. No wonder she is ashamed. Its basically posh shoplifting.

(6)(10)

Anonymous

Glass houses – Mr Perfect.
‘How shalt thou hope for mercy, rendering none?’
If putting things into some sort of humanitarian context makes me a ‘thick shit’ (charmed I’m sure) – so be it.
I think your reaction makes you a total ****.

(8)(4)

Anonymous

Pipe down, Muppet.

Your playing down of a chain of dishonesty offences by the girl means your ethics are in doubt.

Anonymous

Agreed, she pretended family members had died on a handful of occasions. Very dishonest.

Anonymous

Rubbish.
Your just a self righteous twat.

Anonymous

“You’re” a twat, too.

Anonymous

To clarify – what she did was wrong – agreed. Don’t need a degree in ethics for that (FAO – twat)
But – I DO think striking off is excessive in ALL the circumstances – and bearing in mind what people are NOT struck off for.

Anonymous

She agreed with her strike off in a letter in March 2014. She accepts the striking off, so you should too. Getting offended on her behalf is pathetic.

Anonymous

Oh yes I bet she was absolutely delighted with the ‘offer’ to be struck off.
What an offer.
I am entitled to my observations on the matter. And those observations are certainly no more or less pathetic than yours – who seems to think she should be hung, drawn an quartered.
I just hope one day you are in need of some sort of sympathetic hearing – but instead get your approach of f*** you.

Anonymous

Does anyone else think the costs involved in investigation this whole affair far exceed the actual money the train companies ‘lost’ from a few ticket refunds? Surely people have better things to do, but history always proves otherwise.

(20)(3)

Anonymous

Fair point, but it’s a both matter of her character and of setting a precedent. Deciding differently in this instance could have resulted in magnified consequences down the road.

(5)(1)

Anonymous

Pathetic that nobody is viewing the train companies as a victim here. Its always the poor little girl who couldn’t take it. Thousands of LPC grads are in debt and don’t turn to fraud.

(5)(2)

Comments are closed.