Ex-solicitor who defrauded elderly client is barred from finance industry

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A FORMER solicitor who was jailed for defrauding a client out of almost £30,000 while acting in the role of curator has been barred from working in finance in Jersey by the industry regulator.

Julie Harrigan (37) was described as ‘not a fit and proper person’ by the Jersey Financial Services Commission, which issued a statement confirming that she was prohibited from working in the industry without the commission’s prior approval.

Harrigan was jailed in November 2021 after admitting that she had transferred more than £29,000 from the bank account of her 76-year-old client over a two-year period.

The Royal Court heard that Harrigan had taken an oath to look after the finances of her client, a care home resident who had been deemed unable to look after her own affairs.

In its judgment, having jailed Harrigan for three years, the court said it was ‘difficult… to identify a more egregious breach of fiduciary duty and trust’.

The commission issued a statement late last week which said: ‘The JFSC has concluded that as a result of Ms Harrigan’s actions and her conviction for an offence involving fraud, [she] is not a fit and proper person for the purposes of the Supervisory Bodies Law.

‘Ms Harrigan’s conduct poses a significant risk to the JFSC’s guiding principles and objectives of reducing the risk to the public of financial loss, protecting and enhancing the reputation and integrity of Jersey in commercial and financial matters, and countering financial crime in Jersey and elsewhere.’

The court was told that Harrigan had been considered a rising star of the legal profession in Jersey during a ten-year career with Collas Crill, being named Junior Lawyer of the Year by the Law Society of Jersey in 2016 and promoted to the role of senior associate with an annual salary of £60,000.

After being dismissed by Collas Crill in January 2018 and having appealed unsuccessfully against her dismissal, Harrigan returned to her native Ireland. Contacted by investigating officers, she was due to return voluntarily in March 2020 but failed to do so, with her return to Jersey delayed until September 2021 as a result of the pandemic, when she was arrested and remanded in custody.

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