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Tuesday, 8 October, 2002, 16:27 GMT 17:27 UK
Former MP admits bank fraud
Signed document
Neale signed documents which were "particularly unusual"
A former Cornish MP and solicitor has been struck off the Roll of Solicitors for dishonesty.

Sir Gerrard Neale, who represented North Cornwall until 1992, admitted allegations of fraudulent banking at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in London.

He was struck off the roll and ordered to pay just under 7,500 in costs.

The tribunal heard the events he was involved with had "born all the hallmarks of a fraud".

'Unusual paperwork'

Neale, a former Minister of State for Trade, was acting as a consultant to a solicitors' firm.

He became involved in what the tribunal was told were "dubious" banking transactions.

It was claimed he was paid for his work by the firm, but was also allowed to keep 80% of all fees generated.

The tribunal heard Neale signed documents which he should have known were "particularly unusual".

Bankers drafts

The paperwork included details of foreign banks that might or might not exist and no checks were made.

Neale admitted five allegations relating to banking fraud.

The allegations included authorising bankers drafts without authority and failing to protect money held on behalf of clients.


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