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Criminal case highlights abuse in unregulated Will writing

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KCAxeBogus Will writer, Walter Ventriglia, has been imprisoned for conning clients with false legal updates in order to charge them for changes to their Wills. Mr Ventriglia ran a will writing company called Legacy & Law. He operated the organisation under a false name and sent clients warnings of bogus changes in law requiring them to change their Wills. Mr Ventriglia then offered to amend the Will for a charge of £30 to £60. In addition, Mr Ventriglia purported to operate a Will storage company called ‘UK Will Register’ claiming that documents were stored in a secure facility in London. Upon investigation by trading standard officers it was discovered that they were in fact held in an airing cupboard at his Sandhurst home.
The case was investigated after the fraudulent letters were passed to Bracknell Forest Council. After ignoring a request by the council to stop, Mr Ventriglia was prosecuted by the council for fraud. Head of Bracknell Forest Council’s trading standards, Robert Sexton, said “when sentencing Walter Ventriglia on Friday the judge was particularly scathing regarding the persistent nature of the fraud and stated this was a serious case that had undoubtedly caused great concern amongst Mr Ventriglia’s clients. I’m pleased the judge recognised just how callous Ventriglia had been in trying to fraudulently squeeze money from his clients. The council’s trading standards team had been investigating Ventriglia for some time and this result shows that we will doggedly pursue con-men trying to rip innocent people off.”

Following a guilty plea Mr Ventriglia’s sentence was reduced from 21 months in prison to 14 months. He is thought to have defrauded some 100-130 clients who mostly hail from the south east.


Written by Andrew Hodges

September 17, 2011 at 11:27 am

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

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