Fraudster conned dying veteran in £200,000 scam pretending to be his lawyer

A fraudster who posed as a legal expert and swindled an army veteran out of £200,000 is facing jail. Agnes Hewitt, 63, deceived former soldier George Ross into believing she could handle an employment dispute with the Royal British Legion around 2011.

She demanded payment for lawyers, even sending him fake paperwork before informing him the case had settled for £501,0000. But no money ever materialised, and Mr Ross fell seriously ill and passed away in June 2019.

Hewitt, from Lanarkshire, demanded £10,000 from Mr Ross as he lay on his deathbed, prompting his family to alert the police. Investigators discovered she had taken £52,684 from the dying veteran. Mr Ross’s widow Ann said: ‘I’m deeply hurt because my husband was a veteran, and for someone to do that, taking every penny, is disgraceful.

‘My life is finished now because I can’t do anything to my house because I’ve got no money, and it’s terrible what she has done. ‘My husband was crying his eyes out on the phone to her in the hospital, and he said to her “you have bled me dry and taken every penny”.’

Investigators also found Hewitt had defrauded business executive Dooley and his wife, Clare, out of almost £140,000 during a dispute with another director at their firm, Strathkelvin Instruments Ltd.

She convinced Mr Dooley to cover legal costs and even write victim impact statements. But as years passed, he became suspicious and approached courts in Edinburgh, where he was told no case existed.Mr Dooley then discovered an online article which exposed Hewitt as an embezzler and confronted her before police found she had taken £139,965 from him.

He told the court: ‘Me and my wife were starting to dispute all of the evidence, and we got the brush off from her, and that is when we knew we were right, and that is when the police were called in. ‘At the end of the day, I was conned, and I have to hold my hands up and say again that I was conned.’

He added: ‘She was mentioning millions of pounds were coming in this settlement. ‘I was stressed out of my mind trying to raise a family, run a small business and support my wife, so it was a hellish time, and I was on the edge of a nervous breakdown; in fact, I don’t know how I didn’t have one because we even remortgaged the house.’

Sheriff Linda Nicolson deferred sentence on Hewitt until next month for reports and continued bail. The sheriff warned her: ‘You have been convicted of two serious charges, and it might be the case that a custodial sentence cannot be avoided.’

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