Former Gloucestershire Coroner Alan Crickmore admits £2m fraud
One of Britain's longest serving coroners is facing a jail term after he admitted plundering £2 million from the estates of the dead.
Alan Crickmore, 57, of East Approach Drive, Cheltenham, pleaded guilty to 16 counts of theft, seven of fraud by abuse of position and one of fraud between 1999 and 2011.
Southwark Crown Court today heard how the Gloucestershire coroner stole the money in a “frenzied attempt” to balance the books at his law firm, Alan C. Crickmore.
Crickmore was first arrested by police in January 2011 after a probe into irregularities at his practice.
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And after a career spanning 30 years, he was suspended from practising as a solicitor in December 2010.
Shortly afterwards he ceased acting in his role as coroner of Gloucestershire.
It emerged today that since his suspension he is still being paid a £60,000 a year salary as coroner.
Crickmore became deputy coroner for Gloucester in 1990, took over as the city coroner in 2002, and three years later took on the role of the coroner for the Cotswolds.
He then combined the two jobs to become the first coroner to cover the whole of Gloucestershire.
Four of the fraud charges against Crickmore are thought to relate to him raiding money, as the executor, from the estates of dead clients, between 2007 and 2011.
Crickmore was bailed and electronically tagged ahead of a sentencing hearing on November 28.
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Sellwood of Gloucestershire Constabulary said: “This has been a meticulous and thorough two year investigation by Gloucestershire Constabulary that followed an investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
“We are pleased that now, having been faced with overwhelming evidence, Mr Crickmore has acknowledged his guilt to 24 of the 25 charges put to him.
“We will now await sentencing on Thursday 28th November.”