I will look forward to your response in which I will advise the victims.
The elderly couple are my wife's aunt and uncle and the person who I believe has committed the fraud is my wife's brother
The solicitor has been trying to negotiate a reasonable sale price for the elderly couple from my brother in law and have used the forgeries as a lever to achieve a satisfactory sale but have taken no action on the forgeries
The couple have made a complaint to the police and I have assisted because of their age and continue to do so in trying to establish what we can do
The transfer was done by a solicitor who witnessed the signature of my brother in law but accepted the document already signed, purportedly by the elderly couple, which they categorically deny
The whole matter has been sent to the local police who then sent it to the ECU which I understand to be the economic crime unit which we thought was the fraud squad CID
They need to press this with the police because if this is fraud, then it is a police matter. If necessary, they need to make a formal complaint about the lack of action by the police bearing in mind they vehemently deny signing the transfer document.
It would be easy enough for the police to get a handwriting expert to verify whether this was their signature or not.
There is another issue here and that is that the solicitor dealt with this transfer is in breach of his duty to their clients who are the elderly couple and if he will not resolve this issue for them I suggest that they make a formal written complaint about the solicitors conduct to the Solicitors Regulation Authority who will investigate this very thoroughly.
Meanwhile, they need to make a formal complaint (it must come from them although you will of course be helping them with the wording) to the firm’s complaint to partner because the person dealt with this was under a duty to verify the identity of his clients and confirm that this was indeed their signature.
In conclusion, press the matter with the police.
Make a formal complaint to the solicitors complaints partner
Make a formal complaint to the Solicitors Regulation Authority if the firm of solicitors complaints partner does not come up with a satisfactory solution.
There is also the civil remedy of applying to court to get the transfer overturned on the basis that the transfer into joint names was done fraudulently. In 3 years the solicitor should have been on that case already.
There is another issue here and that is that if the solicitor that has been dealing with this for the last three years is the one who registered the transfer, there is a conflict of interest between what he wants and what is the best for the clients and therefore it should have been referred to independent solicitors to deal with. That forms a further head of complaint if it is the same firm.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Thank you for that, it is much in line with what we expected the only issue is that I may not have explained it properly but the solicitor who dealt with the TR1 transfer was an independent working for the alleged fraudster in which I believe he only witnessed that persons signature and not the signing of the forged ones as they had been done prior to the document being presented to him therefore I don't think he would be a party to this conspiracy.
He may have been working for the fraudster but he has actually done work for the elderly owners because the elderly owners were transferring their property (so he was led to believe) to his client and he is under a duty to make sure that it is a legitimate transaction.
In this particular case, he was actually acting for both of them which is a potential conflict-of-interest.
If he is employed by the fraudster and not in practice on his own right, then simply make the complaint straight to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.