A man who targeted four elderly victims and took around £400k from them, has been jailed for six years.
Peter Bottomley, 60, of Hall Drive, Morecambe, pleaded guilty to eight counts of fraud and theft offences at Preston Crown Court in July 2015.
Bottomley used his working knowledge as a financial advisor between 2008 and 2014 to defraud the four elderly and vulnerable victims in Morecambe.
DI Simon Dent of Lancaster CID said: “This has been a long and complex investigation looking into the activity of Bottomley who abused his position as a financial advisor, befriending the two men and two women, one of whom sadly died in 2011, to steal large sums of money from them when they had trusted him with their finances.
“One of the men in his sixties who fell victim to Bottomley has severe learning difficulties.
“The other victims, two sisters aged 93 and 88, and a man aged 87 all suffered with dementia, making this a truly despicable crime committed against some of the most vulnerable members of the community in Morecambe.
“We have been determined to bring Bottomley to justice for his actions and today’s outcome shows that Lancashire Police will not tolerate anyone who takes advantage of vulnerable people in this way.
“Where we see that a criminal has financially benefited from crime we will do everything we can to put them before the courts and bring them to justice.
“We will be seeking action through the Proceeds of Crime Act to confiscate his assets, which will in turn see the stolen money given back to the victims.”
Elizabeth Jenkins, Deputy Head of the Specialist Fraud Division at the CPS, said: “To steal money from anyone is unacceptable, but to steal the life savings of the vulnerable and the elderly is particularly cruel and calculating.
“The strength of our evidence was such that Peter Bottomley had no choice but to plead guilty which spared the victims from a potentially lengthy trial.
“It was clear that Peter Bottomley selected his victims because he thought their age, and in one case their cerebral palsy, made them easy targets. We asked the court to reflect the pernicious way in which he targeted these vulnerable victims in its sentencing.
“Crimes like this should not pay and we have already succeeded in restraining £1.3m worth of Peter Bottomley’s assets. We’ll now continue to work hard to ensure this money is recovered and his victims are compensated.”