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Reading Magistrates' Court: Thatcham pair face accusations over £176,000 will fraud

Breach of trust alleged over probate funds

John Garvey

John Garvey


01635 886628

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A THATCHAM man has been accused of a breach of trust involving a will worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

And a woman is charged with helping him.

On Thursday, July 16, Reading magistrates held a preliminary hearing into the case against 64-year-old Brian Grant and Ceri Jean Hughes, aged 43, both of Alexander Road, Thatcham.

Mr Grant is accused of fraud in that, while occupying a position of trust to manage an estate, in which he was expected to safeguard, or not to act against, the financial interests of James Watters and Carol Capper, he dishonestly abused that position intending thereby to make a gain, namely £176,475.64, for himself.

In addition, he is accused of concealing, disguising, converting, transferring or removing criminal property, namely £176,475.64, by means of transferring the funds from the probate or estate proceeds, to different accounts, including that of Ceri Hughes. 

Ms Hughes is accused of  entering into an arrangement which she knew or suspected facilitated the acquisition, retention, use or control of criminal property, namely £176, 475.64, by or on behalf of Mr Grant.

The offences were said to have been committed in Thatcham between July 14, 2012, and January 16 this year.

The pair were not required to attend the preliminary hearing and magistrates adjourned the cases to a later date, when both will be expected to attend and to enter pleas.

Meanwhile, both were granted unconditional bail.