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Fake solicitor charged with defrauding deceased estates

A fake solicitor who ran a Gold Coast law firm has been charged with allegedly fleecing more than $400,000 from deceased estates.

The Queensland Police Service, in a statement released late yesterday, said Financial and Cyber Crime Group detectives had charged a 47-year-old woman from the north Gold Coast rural-residential suburb of Maudsland with 10 counts of fraud.

Group Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Kirk Bellotti said police had worked closely with the legal and financial sectors and this investigation commenced after suspicious behaviour was reported.

“The investigation commenced in July 2021 following a referral from the Queensland Law Society,” the QPS statement said.

“Police will allege the woman used her position at a law practice to misappropriate funds while engaged to settle deceased estates.

“Police will further allege, over a period of two years from 2017 to 2019, the woman withdrew funds for her own personal gain from a legal trust account holding funds for beneficiaries.”

Nerise Dawn Moore has been charged with 10 counts of fraud and one count each of forgery and utter and is due to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court on April 26.

In November 2021, a Supreme Court judge in Brisbane ordered Ms Moore be permanently disqualified from managing a corporation that is an incorporated legal service under the Legal Profession Act 2007 (Qld).

Justice Martin Burns’ decision comes more than 2½ years after Queensland Law Society won a Supreme Court injunction restraining Moore – who was then operating Mudgeeraba law firm Stenton & Moore, from engaging in legal practice or holding herself as a qualified practitioner.

The decision to forever ban Moore was the result of subsequent legal action brought by Queensland’s Legal Services Commission.

Read about the Supreme Court ruling in the previous QLS Proctor article.

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