Vantis partner jailed for charity trust abuse

A former accountant that stole £200,000 from the trusts of clients, which left cancer charities out of pocket, so he could clear his debts, has been jailed for his crimes.

Ronald Bassett-Cross, 70, a one-time partner at Vantis, was sentenced to two-years in prison, after pleading guilty at the Old Bailey to six counts of theft and three counts of fraud by abuse of position.

As a financial adviser at the firm Bassett-Cross, for a period of 12 years, was found to have illegally taken money from his client's - including £62,845 from one trust.

The court heard that, as a trustee, Bassett-Cross, who had suffered from alcoholism and depression, failed to distribute funds to charities including Cancer Research UK and the Marie Curie Foundation.

The former ICAEW member was struck off in 2009 for misappropriating client assets, when he secretly sold properties from an inheritance trust to a long-term friend.

In a statement read out in court, the victim of the incident said how Bassett-Cross had 'taken advantage of a widow and two orphans' as the sale of the properties formed part of the inheritance for her two now-adult children.

Detective constable David Parkinson of the City of London Police, who led the investigation, said: 'Bassett-Cross was a senior accountant entrusted with fulfilling the dying financial wishes of his clients.

Unfortunately he chose to go down a different path by stealing money, liquidating assets and selling properties to prop up his own finances. His sentencing sends out a clear message that crime in the office will be treated no differently to crime on the streets.'

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