A retired estate agent in Yorkshire is facing jail after pleading guilty to fraud charges.
Roger Darnton used to run an estate agency in the market town of Guisborough (pictured, above) named after him until retiring in October last year.
But at Teeside Crown Court the 53-year-old pleaded guilty after being indicted for abusing his position as power of attorney and an estate executor to “misappropriate funds” over a period of almost five years, and gain nearly £110,000.
Court papers reveal that he has pleaded guilty to the two counts of fraud which took place between April 2012 and November 2018.
The court case has come as a surprise to many of Darnton’s former clients in the town, where he worked as an estate agent for 32 years and had operated his own agency since 2001.
Darnton (pictured, left) was also a member of a well-known local family and at one point was voted Guisborough’s ‘Citizen of the Year’. He was also a pillar of the local community and is still listed as the secretary of a local property management company, and director of a well-known historical museum.
During the court hearing local media report that Judge Howard Crowson asked for a more accurate picture of the level of loss to be assessed, but warned Darnton that he is almost guaranteed to face a jail term.
“You of course realise that this level of fraud usually means – and I can’t see why it should not in this case – a prison sentence,” the judge said.
Darnton was granted bail until May 10th, when the length of his likely sentence is to be decided.