Son of disgraced Wakefield lawyer given three months to pay back stolen money she gifted to him

The son of a disgraced lawyer who received almost £1 million of his mother's ill-gotten gains has been given three months to pay back a chunk of the cash after being told by a judge that he has "buried his head in the sand".

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 1:19 pm

Edward Box received the "tainted gift" from Linda Box, a former solicitor who was jailed in 2017 for defrauding millions of pounds from clients to fund a lavish lifestyle for her and her family.

Neither Edward Box nor any of the Box family members were involved with her criminal activities.

Mr Box appeared via video link at Leeds Crown Court this morning where a receivership order was put in place under the Proceeds of Crime Act to help recover the cash given to him by his mother.

Disgraced solicitor, Linda Box.

However, the order has been postponed until June 3 after the court was told that Mr Box had been attempting to re-mortgage his home, and only this morning a financial lender had agreed, in principle, to provide the money for his 50 per cent equity in the property.

The family home in Overton is thought to be worth around £350,000.

But the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) argued he had not done enough to help the recovery of the money after several adjourned hearings.

For the CPS, Paul Jarvis asked him: "Do you understand that you spent nearly £1 million that your mother obtained by fraud? It is what's known as a tainted gift.

"Your mother has to pay back a very large confiscation order.

"Did it not cross your mind to claw some of it back to help pay off the order?"

Mr Box said that he had done everything he had been told by his solicitors.

But Judge Penelope Belcher said that Mr Box understood that losing his family home to pay back the money was possible, but did not take it seriously enough.

She said: "I understand that no family would want their home sold from under them.

"I have sympathy for the family situation, but you should have faced the reality some time ago.

"To an extent, you have buried your head in the sand.

"It's appropriate to give you the opportunity to see if you can secure that re-mortgage with a view to paying the money to the CPS.

"I will not be remotely sympathetic if there's any further delay in those three months. It's time you faced up to the reality of the situation.

"If you do not, the family home will simply be repossessed."

Linda Box was jailed for seven years in 2017 after her offending came to light.

A senior partner at the Wakefield law firm, Dixon, Coles and Gill, she used her position to defraud clients over a 12-year period.

It is estimated that she obtained more than £4 million in that time, money which she spent on luxury items including expensive wine collections, designer clothes, houses, cars and family holidays.

A confiscation order was put in place to help repay the money she stole.