A Sheffield financial adviser who stole more than £600,000 from his own family to fund a life of luxury has been jailed for over six years.
David Nicholas King, stole several hundred thousand pounds of his late grandmother's life savings, along with cash from other family members, who had entrusted him to invest it for them. He then forged paperwork and letters to hide the theft and pretend that the bogus investments were performing well.
South Yorkshire Police said he had "torn his family apart" and spent their money on holidays, designer clothes and shooting trips. He was jailed for six years and four months at Sheffield Crown Court, after pleading guilty to three counts of theft and one count of fraud by false representation.
Stealing his family members’ money in this way was the ultimate betrayal"
In December 2010, King's grandmother's home was sold, and he was given £370,000 from the sale to invest in a bond for her children and grandchildren. Two previous bonds he had set up with his grandmother's savings, worth £140,000 and £280,000 respectively, had performed well.
King ran his own financial advice business, DNK Wealth Management.
The investigating officer in South Yorkshire Police's financial crime investigation unit, DC Paul Douglas, said "alarm bells started ringing" for the family when HMRC contacted the family solicitor about the money, suspecting it was being hidden to avoid tax.
"His mother called him and after asking what was going on he replied, 'Mum, you're not going to like this but I've spent the money, and never invested the money from the sale of Granny's house'," he said.
King told his mother he had also begun to spend money from the original bonds, he added. On several occasions, King had drawn up bogus paperwork and documentation to make it look like the various ‘investments' were performing as planned.
He also spent £20,000 of his mother's inheritance from his grandfather, £10,000 of his brother's savings and £35,000 from a family friend.
DC Douglas added: "Stealing his family members' money in this way was the ultimate betrayal. All of them trusted King to invest their money carefully on their behalf as their financial adviser.
"Instead, he frittered it away on a lavish lifestyle he could not afford, treating himself to various exotic holidays, designer outfits and days out at an exclusive shooting range in North Yorkshire.
"King's offending has torn his family apart and they have all found it extremely difficult to come to terms with the fact they were lied to for years. In all this time, King has shown barely any remorse for his actions.
"And while I acknowledge the admissions he has made and his guilty plea, he only did this when he could no longer conceal what he had done.
"In the space of a few months he wiped out what it had taken his grandparents a lifetime of hard work and thrift to accrue."