Gordon Couch (57), was yesterday found guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court of embezzlement after a three-week long trial.

The independent financial adviser was convicted of embezzling £170,000 of funds from Marjorie Stewart, from Edinburgh, both prior to and after her death in September 2013. At that time he acted in a professional capacity for her was her Attorney and on her death he was appointed Executor of her Will which afforded him access to funds.

He is due to be sentenced at a later date.

An investigation was launched in 2016 after Mrs Stewart’s family raised concerns about Mr Couch’s conduct including the misappropriation of funds.

Mr Couch had by then moved to Hong Kong and officers began efforts to secure his return to the UK to face charges. He was finally arrested in 2019 after returning to the UK.

Detective Sergeant Craig Potter said: “This was a complex case covering a large number of years where the power and control afforded to one person was able to be abused.

“Marjorie Stewart’s family were key to uncovering the misappropriation and have shown exemplary conduct throughout the long wait for the case to come to court. Hopefully all the witnesses are afforded some closure by today’s verdict.”

Should you have criminal concerns with regard to Power of Attorney or financial issues, police should be contacted.

If you have concerns about anyone carrying out any of the roles for someone else then advice can be sought from the relevant regulatory body:

Independent Financial Advisors – Financial Conduct Authority
Power of Attorney – Office of the Public Guardian
Executors – Law Society of Scotland

High Court of Justiciary. Photo: Martin P. McAdam www.martinmcadam.com