Leeds & West Yorkshire

Solicitor 'helped' con £730,000 from Oldham Sixth Form College

A West Yorkshire solicitor helped cheat a sixth-form college out of £730,000, the Old Bailey has heard.

Andrew Wormstone, 43, of Ashworth Road, Pontefract, received money from Oldham Sixth Form College, which was meant to be for a builder.

He was arrested after transferring the funds to another account used to buy gold, jurors were told.

Mr Wormstone denies concealing criminal property of £2,634 and transferring criminal funds of £730,000 last March.

Martin Hooper, prosecuting, said the money was sent to Mr Wormstone's law firm, Velocity in Leeds, after the college received a letter claiming its builder had changed its bank account.

Mr Hooper said after two days, most of the funds were transferred into an account of a "Mr Marshall", who has never been traced and who may not exist.

Mr Wormstone told police he retained £2,634 for his fees and was acting on behalf of a client who wanted to invest in gold, and had not suspected anything was wrong.

He had acted in good faith after speaking to the client on the telephone but, in hindsight, he should have insisted on seeing original identity documents, Mr Wormstone told the jury.

The trial continues.

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