Promoters of asset protection trusts jailed for mis-selling
Two people have received prison sentences at Nottingham Crown Court for mis-selling so-called asset protection trusts to elderly clients.
Asset protection trusts (sometimes called property protection trusts or estate preservation trusts) are advertised as a means for homeowners to protect their property against local authority charges if they have to go into residential care. The defendants in the Nottingham case employed salesmen to cold-call and then visit elderly clients to persuade them to use these trusts, despite their lack of legal expertise. Trading under the names Inheritance Protection Services, Inheritance and Probate Solutions and Goldstar Law, they demanded advance payments of £2,000 for setting up the trusts.
During the two years that the businesses were operating, they took more than £250,000 in client fees. They also sold will-writing and power of attorney services. Most of the products sold were never delivered.
Joseph Croft of Sleaford was jailed for four and a half years and Alan and Matthew Appleyard of Halifax, both received four year prison sentences. They all admitted offences of fraudulent trading and unlawfully carrying out the reserved legal activity of preparing trust documents.