Ex-lawyer accused of stealing £570k from clients

Graeme Herald entered a not guilty plea at Dundee Sheriff Court. Picture: PA

Graeme Herald entered a not guilty plea at Dundee Sheriff Court. Picture: PA

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A FORMER solicitor who is based in Edinburgh, is to stand trial accused of embezzling more than half a million pounds from his clients - including more than £85,000 from the estates of dead clients - a court heard.

Graeme Herald - who was a partner at Herald and Co Solicitors in Arbroath - is accused of stealing the cash deposited with him by his clients between October 12 2001 and October 6 2006.

It is alleged he took sums ranging between £2,000 and £90,000 from 14 separate clients.

In total, he is said to have embezzled £570,046.47 from his firm’s clients.

That sum includes £85,558.47 from the estates of four dead clients.

Prosecutors say the cash had been deposited with the firm by clients “in pursuance of their legal affairs”.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard Herald is alleged to have “appropriated the sums of money without lawful authority”.

He is accused of taking it “without proper accounting” and “for his own use and purpose”.

Herald, 55, of Hawthornbank Lane, Edinburgh, entered a not guilty plea to the embezzlement charge today.

Solicitor Gary McIlravey asked that a further pre-trial hearing to allow the defence to prepare their case fully.

Sheriff Richard Davidson ordered Herald to attend a further hearing later this month.