A SOLICITOR from Burnley has been charged with stealing more than £1million – and a clerk has been accused of taking more than £140,000.
Kimberley Bridge, 42, a former partner at SFN Solicitors, of Red Lion Street, Burnley, is facing an accusation that she stole credit balances valued at £1,087,580, following an investigation by Lancashire Police.
Bridge, of Cumbrian Way, Burnley, has also been accused of false accounting, between May 2006 and Octotber 2012, and three offences of making an article for use in fraud.
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Her sister Nicola Roach, 34, of Bramley Avenue, Burnley, has also been charged with the theft of credit balances totalling £141,741 and false accounting, between the same two dates.
The pair appeared together before Pennine magistrates and were bailed to appear at Burnley Crown Court, for a plea and case management hearing, on August 18.
Bridge has already been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal after it was found she had breached 19 regulations, including nine dishonesty offences, over her time at SFN.
Roach, who was found to have breached 10 regulations, also received a ban from working at another law firm, as part of the same proceedings.
The firm’s other partners, Charles McNabb and Tracy Stansfield, were also formally reprimanded by the SDT over related regulation breaches.
SFN’s business was wound up after a emergency visit by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in October 2012 and the company’s files were handed over to another firm to be dealt with.