Friday, 21 September 2012

Leeds heir hunter jailed for 16 months

A Leeds City Council worker has been jailed by Leeds Crown Court for 16 months for an heir hunting scam. 39 year old Deborah Cook set up an heir tracing service firm in 2010 called Heir Solutions Ltd whilst also working for the council as a finance officer, with her role in the council being to deal with the estates of people who had died intestate (without a will), passing on their details to the Treasury when there was no immediately identifiable next of kin. Apart from holding back such details to giver herself an unfair advantage in tracing potential relatives, she was found guilty of having stolen a credit card of a deceased woman in Bardsey, Leeds, and of having spent £17,000 from it.

The full story is in the Yorkshire Evening Post at

(With thanks to @HeirHunter on Twitter)


Scottish Research Online - 5 weeks online Pharos course, £45.99, taught by Chris Paton from 26 SEP 2012 - see
New book: It's Perthshire 1866 - there's been a murder... (from June 12th 2012)

1 comment:

  1. If only this was the full story....
    In her role as Finance officer, she not only stole the deceased lady's credit card and pin number but also fraudulently set up a direct debit from the bank account of the deceased to pay off the stolen credit card bill.
    Most concerning of all... in her role as "Finance Officer" working for the local authority in Leeds, a position of great trust, she declared that there was no will and no next of kin, which was completely untrue. This led to the deceased being cremated without the families knowledge, causing a great deal of distress...It is indeed the families involvement that led to her other underhand dealings being uncovered by the Police.