Gloucestershire coroner charged in connection with £2 million fraud
GLOUCESTERSHIRE coroner Alan Crickmore has been charged with fraud and theft offences involving more than £2 million.
Mr Crickmore, aged 56, faces 12 charges of theft, seven of fraud by abuse of position and one of fraud by false representation.
He has been bailed by Gloucestershire police to appear before magistrates in Cheltenham on April 9.
Mr Crickmore, of East Approach Drive, Cheltenham, was charged when he answered bail at Cheltenham police station last Monday, March 11, after an investigation lasting more than two years.
Gloucestershire police released a statement confirming the charges.
The statement went on to say: "The charges follow the formal launch of a police investigation in January 2011 into matters under investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
"The total amount of money alleged to have been stolen or defrauded is in excess of £2 million pounds.
"Mr Crickmore's solicitor's office in Cheltenham High Street was closed by the SRA in December, 2010.
His law firm specialised in family law, liquor and public entertainment licensing, conveyancing, wills and probate.
He was suspended from practising as a solicitor and all his active case files were handed to other firms.
Shortly afterwards he ceased to sit as coroner although he still holds that office.
Since then inquests have been conducted by his deputy, David Dooley, and two assistants.
Mr Crickmore became deputy coroner for Gloucester in 1990 and took over as the city coroner in 2002.
In 2005, he also took on the role of the coroner for the Cotswolds and combined the two jobs to become the first coroner to cover the whole of Gloucestershire.