A SOLICITOR in Ayr has confessed to swindling hundreds of thousands of pounds from a dead man’s estate by passing on forged documents to investment firms and to the town’s sheriff court.

Lynsay Kelly admitted embezzling £280,822.36 from the estate of the late William Walker Loudoun over a period of 15 months.

Kelly committed the crime between February 14, 2018 and May 25 the following year.

She also transferred shares worth £54,564.56 – taking the total amount obtained by fraud to £335,446.92.

Ayr Sheriff Court was told that Kelly had been a solicitor with the local firm of J. & A. Boyd, where she handled “significant bank accounts”.

Kelly admitted pretending to four different firms - Link Management Services Limited, Equiniti Group PLC, Scottish Widows Ltd, and Barclays Bank – that she and her partner were the executor-dative for Mr Loudoun’s estate between June 19 and August 5, 2019.

She submitted falsified certificates of confirmations in their names to induce Link Management Services Limited and Equiniti Group PLC to provide her with  cheques for various shares.

These include BP plc (£7,749.29); Rank Group (£4,669.80); J.Sainsbury plc (£5,512.01); Lloyds Banking Group (£865.92) and Royal Dutch Shell (£4,347.67).

She induced Scottish Widows to authorise payment £13,351.55 to her partner from a Halifax Investor ISA in Mr Loudoun’s name.

She also induced Barclays Bank to authorise a payment of £18,128.3.

She pleaded guilty to a third charge of presenting forged papers to Ayr Sheriff Court on July 26, 2018, using a fake signature.

She then received certificates of confirmation for the assets held in Mr Loudoun’s estate.

At a hearing on April 20, Kelly pleaded guilty to charges of embezzlement, fraud, and presenting forged documents to court officials.

Not guilty pleas to further charges alleging an attempted fraud of a further £73,137.60 and the theft of paperwork from the law firm were accepted by prosecutors.

Procurator fiscal depute Alasdair Millar said: “Police attended her home address at the front door. The accused was traced in the master bedroom.

“Forged forms and addressed letters were found. She stated that ‘when denied a mortgage I did tell [her partner] I was borrowing as an interim measure'.

“The accused was arrested, taken to the police station and interviewed with her solicitor, Graeme Cunningham.

"She admitted also forging certificates presented to Ayr Sheriff Court.”

Mr Cunningham told Sheriff Mhairi MacTaggart that his client had a young family and had been on bail since her arrest, adding that he expected the court to call for background reports.

Sheriff MacTaggart deferred sentence for those reports and continued Kelly’s bail.