Michael Price was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court after he had been convicted of fraud by abuse of position.
Between 2013 and 2016, he stole money from his victim Eileen Chiswell, who sadly passed away prior to the investigation reaching court.
Chiswell, a double amputee, placed her confidence in the former financial adviser, trusting him with her bank cards on the pretext that he was helping and advising her – but Price “exploited her lack of mobility”, according to a statement by Avon and Somerset Police.
Detective sergeant Marc Milliner, Avon and Somerset Police’s complex crime unit, said: “The significant custodial sentence handed to a man in his 70s of previous good character reflects what a dim view the courts take on professionals who abuse their positions to exploit the vulnerable.
“This case was particularly abhorrent as Price took advantage of the victim’s circumstances to feed his own greed.
“The victim was widowed, elderly and immobile through her disability. She trusted her financial adviser to act in her best interests, but he betrayed that trust and confidence.
“Hopefully, a case such as this demonstrates that even when a victim has died prior to the suspect being charged, the police will do everything in their power to bring to justice those who target vulnerable victims.”
Bank balance raised suspicions
Price began working as financial adviser to Chiswell in 2013, dealing with her tax returns and managing her investments.
When she went into hospital in 2015, she gave the financial adviser a debit card to withdraw money she needed. He did not return the card.
She became suspicious when she noticed that her bank balance was lower than she had expected, discovering many cash withdrawals and transactions had been made without her knowledge and consent.
The police were notified and commenced an investigation, which led to Price’s arrest and first appearance at court in 2016.
A confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act will take place later this year at Bristol Crown Court on a date to be confirmed.