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Legal watchdog acted quickly to stop solicitor accused of $900,000 fraud

Queensland’s legal conduct watchdog launched action to prevent a Brisbane-based solicitor from practicing seven-months before police charged her with criminal fraud offences totalling almost $900,000.

Juliette Barbara Wright, also known as Julliette Barbara Mould, 36, and who now resides in central Queensland, was arrested and charged by police with numerous offences on 23 June over her alleged misappropriation of an estimated $894,000 while a director of Brisbane-based Phoenix Lawyers between May 2016 and May 2017.

Queensland Police Service’s Financial and Cyber Crime Group Detective Acting Inspector Adam Bennett said a criminal investigation into Ms Mould was triggered after police received information from the Queensland Law Society in April 2020.

Inspector Bennett said the type of offending allegedly committed by Ms Wright was treated very seriously and that her arrest reflected QPS’s commitment to ensuring people in positions of trust are held to account.

“This is a timely reminder that all businesses and companies should have robust risk management and governance procedures in place to prevent and protect any potential financial loss through the dishonest actions of employees,” he said.

A Queensland Police spokesman said the woman, who is from Mount Pleasant, five kilometres north of Mackay, was the subject of a “protracted” investigation by the state’s Financial and Cyber Crime group.

Documents obtained by Proctor reveal Queensland’s Legal Services Commissioner Megan Mahon filed an application to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal on 22 November to take disciplinary action against Ms Wright.

As part of the “application or referral – disciplinary proceeding’’, Ms Mahon said it was alleged the “respondent’’, Ms Wright, was “guilty of professional misconduct and/or unsatisfactory professional misconduct.’’

The application lists numerous particulars of alleged offences committed by Ms Wright against a number of different client’s during her time as “ILP Director of Phoenix Lawyers.’’

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