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Fraudulent will writer jailed

26 August 2011

A fraudulent will writer has been jailed for 14 months. Walter Ventriglia, who pleaded guilty to fraudulent trading at Reading Crown Court, received money from around 100 to 130 clients.

He wrote to them under the alias ‘Tony Edwards’ and falsely advised them that there had been a change in the law and their wills had become invalid. Ventriglia offered to modify the wills for a payment of between £30 and £60.

He was warned about the letters by Bracknell Forest Council’s trading standards team and the probate service but continued to send them out.

A council spokeswoman said he claimed to be operating two separate companies, Legacy & Law and the UK Will Register, which, according to his publicity, stored documents in a secure facility in London.

The spokeswoman said the wills were in fact stored in an airing cupboard in Ventriglia’s home in Sandhurst.

Robert Sexton, head of Bracknell Forest Council’s trading standards team, said the judge who sentenced Ventriglia last week was “particularly scathing” about the persistent nature of the fraud and the case had caused great concern among his clients.

“I’m pleased the judge recognised just how callous Ventriglia had been in trying to fraudulently squeeze money from his clients,” Sexton said.

“The council’s trading standards team had been investigating Ventriglia for some time and this result shows that we will doggedly pursue conmen trying to rip innocent people off.”

The council said that, following its investigation, Ventriglia moved from Sandhurst to Camberley in Surrey.

Categorised in:

Marriage & Civil partnership Wills, Trusts & Probate