Solicitor struck off after using client’s debit card to make cash withdrawals

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By Rhys Duncan on

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Stole nearly £8k


A solicitor has been struck off after stealing nearly £8,000 from a vulnerable client by using their debit card to make cash withdrawals on 39 occasions.

Danielle De Carpentier joined Nottingham firm Clayton Mott in 2014 before beginning the fraud on 1 August 2015.

Acting under a lasting power of attorney for a vulnerable client, referred to only as A in the agreement, De Carpentier continued to take money up until 28 June 2019. In the intervening time she qualified as a solicitor and became a partner at the firm a year later in 2018.

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She left the firm in September 2020, before being convicted in December 2021 of fraud by abuse of position under section 4 of the Fraud Act 2006. She was sentenced in March 2022 to 18 months imprisonment.

Imparting its own sanction, the Solicitor’s Disciplinary Tribunal accepted an agreed outcome that De Carpentier should be struck off, identifying dishonesty as an aggravating factor.

“A criminal conviction, particularly one involving a gross breach of trust and a vulnerable victim is extremely serious,” the tribunal said. “The damage to the reputation of the profession is profound and irreparable.”

“The Respondent’s misconduct could only be viewed as extremely serious, and this fact, together with the need to protect the reputation of the legal profession, required that Strike Off from the Roll was the only appropriate sanction,” it continued.

In mitigation submitted by De Carpentier but not accepted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the former solicitor said she was “ashamed and profoundly sorry”, adding that she had lost the “dream career” that she had fought hard to achieve. She added that she had overcome “severe dyslexia” and “personal mental health difficulties”.

The SRA agreed, after reviewing a statement of means provided by De Carpentier, not to pursue costs.

1 Comment

Sy Nic

If it had been the Bar it would have been a telling off, an apology letter and a box of chocolates.

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