Dodgy Solicitor conned friends into paying his school fees
22 January 2016
A lawyer who asked his friends to lend him money to support his firm, then spent it on school fees and refused to pay it back, slides with aplomb into the Dodgy Solicitors top trumps pack.
John Connolly, 47, last practised as a solicitor in 2009. But the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal described how, after he was made bankrupt in 2013, he "wished to carry on with the lifestyle to which he was accustomed
". Connolly approached an old colleague, named Mr JS in the proceedings, and told him that his law firm (which didn't exist) was suffering from cashflow problems. Connolly asked for a loan, promising that he would repay it as soon as his parents returned from holiday and lent him the cash. Presented with the sob story, JS lent Connolly £25,540. But instead of funding his firm, Connolly used the money to pay his children's school fees. JS, who was the godfather of one of Connolly's children, but who was probably thinking more along the lines of £10 on their birthday than £25k, never heard back.
Connolly used a classic phishing trick for his second con, in which he emailed another old friend, Mr JC, and asked him to wire him £1,000. Connolly claimed that he had been the victim of credit card fraud in South Africa, explaining that he would have asked his parents but, alas, yet again they were on holiday. Because they were buddies, Connolly actually used the cash to settle a debt with a family member and refused to repay JS.
Connolly plead guilty to two counts of fraud in the Liverpool and Knowsley Magistrates’ Court in 2014 and received a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He did not appear before the SDT, or offer any mitigation, and the tribunal ordered
him struck off. His parents are still on holiday.