A solicitor who hid thousands of pounds worth of assets during the course of divorce proceedings has been struck off the roll.
Mamoon Rashid Chaudhary, formerly a member of South Yorkshire firm Oxley & Coward Solicitors LLP, admitted signing a statement of truth which failed to declare his interest in a property.
He also provided a false explanation in relation to the proceeds of selling the property, saying he had lost the money in a failed investment.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal heard Chaudhary, a solicitor since 2000, was subject to a client complaint made about him in February 2015.
In an agreed outcome with the Solicitors Regulation Authority he admitted making the false statements and to being dishonest.
The tribunal heard that in the course of Chaudhary’s divorce proceedings, when he was required to set out his assets, he had agreed with the brother of one of his clients to sell a property valued at £75,000. This person became director of a company set up to purchase the property and Chaudhary lent him money for the transaction.
In a form submitted to the court, Chaudhary was asked to list details of interest in any other property, buildings or land: he left this section blank, and went on to explain that in the previous year he had invested £105,000 in a property venture which failed. The form was submitted along with a statement of truth confirming that the information was a ‘full, frank, clear and accurate’ disclosure.
Following the submission of divorce forms to the court and an interim hearing, Chaudhary applied to register his beneficial interest in the property and subsequently submitted an amended form to the court, admitting he had a 100% beneficial interest in the sold property.
The tribunal, which found the misconduct to be ‘seriousness at the highest level’ agreed that Chaudhary should be struck off and ordered him to pay £29,000 in costs.