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Church News

Church elder who conned woman out of £600,000 ordered to pay back just £1

by Alex Collett

A church elder who stole £600,000 from a woman's life savings as been told he only has to pay back £1. 

Struck-off solicitor David Vaughan Jones, 83, lied to Sharon Myler and told her the money was going to an offshore bank account.

Mr Jones, who was a founder of the Evangelical Church in Newtown, Powys, also conned other members of the congregation by recommending the bogus plan.

He posed as a respected tax consultant to lure fellow members of his congregation into the scam.

The court heard that Ms Myler was the 'largest single loser', defrauded of £606,000.

Prosecutor James Davis explained how she only realised the scam when he was jailed for other financial frauds.

In a victim impact statement, Ms Myler said: "David Jones stole my life savings, causing huge financial and personal hardship. 

"He breached my trust, lied constantly and stole a lot of money from me. 

"I had to borrow money from my family which was extremely embarrassing."

In reality had no financial qualifications; instead, he is a disgraced former solicitor who was struck off from The Law Society in the early 1990s.

The court heard 'prominent' Jones used his influence in the church to persuade members to part with large amounts of cash over a 20-year period.

Police uncovered no such offshore bank accounts ever existed.

Furthermore investigators found no trace of the money and Mr Jones was ordered to pay a nominal £1.

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