Penarth financial adviser jailed for fraud, theft, deception and perverting the course of justice
7:50am Thursday 24th May 2012 in News
A FINANCIAL adviser from Penarth who fraudulently gained nearly £250,000 from his clients to pay for his high-living lifestyle, was jailed for nearly four years on Friday (May 18).
Jeremy Sage, 48, appeared at Cardiff Crown Court where he was sent to prison for three years and nine months after admitting six counts in total of fraud, theft, obtaining property by deception and perverting the course of justice.
David Elias, prosecuting, said Sage, of Tair Gwaun, conducted a series of 'cunning, well planned and well-thought-out frauds' over a period of time when he was in a position of trust.
Sage took over his late father's Newport-based business as a financial adviser, including existing clients John Stroud and Robin Smyth.
The court heard how he fraudulently gained £65,942.13 from Mr Stroud, now 83, and £180,382.25 from Mr Smyth, totalling £246,324.38.
Police were alerted to the crimes in September 2010 and found a series of documents during a search of his address, which at the time was Cefn Mably Park, Michaelston-Y-Fedw. They included a number of blank sheets of paper with Mr Stroud's signature on claiming Sage had power of attorney over his accounts. Mr Elias said this was done without Mr Stroud's consent or knowledge.
Three of the charges related to Sage's time working for Mr Smyth, a former Newport resident who was living in Alaska and travelling the world for work. The court heard Mr Smyth also remembered signing blank sheets of paper so Sage could 'further his financial interests' while he was abroad.
The court heard Mr Smyth has been reimbursed all but £31,000 of the money but Mr Stroud has not been reimbursed by any of the companies or building societies he was involved with.
Mr Elias said that when police caught up with Sage in 2010 they found letters showing he owed thousands in unpaid school fees, £11,000 to the Inland Revenue, was in arrears of just under £17,600 on his mortgage and owed significant amounts to bailiffs.
He said the bank accounts showed Sage, who was a member of various clubs including golf clubs, had spent much of the money he gained from Mr Stroud and Mr Smyth on a 'high-living' lifestyle.
Sage also admitted stealing court documents containing the details of witnesses, belonging to the Crown Prosecution Service, when he was in court for a separate matter of harassment.
He took the legal papers during a lunch adjournment but was spotted on CCTV, and officers investigating later caught Sage with the documents.
Kieron Malloy, defending, said Sage had tried to emulate his well respected father but was 'out of his depth' and 'not up to the job'.
He said Sage tried to live a high lifestyle but did not have the means to do so, and added that Sage wanted to apologise to his victims.