Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Scottish heir hunting firm convicted of fraud

Dick Eastman is reporting on his blog that heir hunting firm World Wide Genealogy Ltd (formerly called Beneficiaries Ltd), has been prosecuted on ten counts of fraud at Reading Crown Court in Berkshire. The company was based in Edinburgh, and has now been ordered to pay back £200,000 to clients and a fine of £25,000.

The conviction, for ten counts of Fraud by False Representation contrary to Section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006, actually took place in late July - the full story is at and also reported locally in Berkshire by Newbury Today at

The local council has also issued a statement at Councillor Dominic Boeck, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Trading Standards said, "This is a great result. These were fraudsters preying on innocent victims in a particularly distasteful and calculated manner. It will send a clear message to companies operating in these sectors that they cannot mislead and lie to people whilst asking them to hand over potentially large sums of money. The Council will be asking the relevant Government department what more can be done to protect the interests of potential beneficiaries in circumstances like this."

For details on the company see

(With thanks to Dick Eastman and West Berkshire Council)


My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My Scottish land and church records ebooks are available at, whilst my next Pharos Scottish course, Scottish Research Online, starts Sep 4th - see Time to smash a few brick walls...!

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