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Former Worthing councillor in fraud arrest
7:26pm Sunday 9th September 2012 in News
A former councillor is at the centre of a fraud investigation.
Mark O’Keeffe, who sat as a Conservative for Worthing Borough Council’s Castle ward between 2000 and 2002, was last month banned from
working for solicitors’ firms after faking a letter to a court.
The Argus can reveal he has also been arrested on suspicion of fraud and is due to answer bail on Monday.
Mr O’Keeffe, 40, worked as a “process server” for solicitors’ firms.
When he was evicted from a rented property in Forest Barn Mews, Castle Goring, in December last year, he left behind six bags of legal documents containing details of solicitors’ clients.
When his landlord passed them to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), it discovered he had written a letter to Worthing Magistrates’ Court claiming to be from Baker & Co solicitors.
In fact he had written it himself on behalf of someone he was planning to represent in court, even though he was not a solicitor.
A statement from the SRA’s adjudicator, Nigel Butcher, said: “Mr O’Keeffe acknowledged that he had not acted appropriately in relation to the production of the letter and that he had acted
“naively” in relation to the abandonment of the documents.”
The body banned Mr O’Keeffe, now of Marine Crescent, Goring, from being employed as a solicitor or working for a solicitors’ firm.
The ban came into force on August 15.
Sussex Police said: “A 40-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of fraud in July.
“He has been interviewed and released on police bail until Monday, September 10, pending further enquiries.”