An accountant convicted of fraud after stealing more than £100,000 from his elderly aunt has told how he is trying to rebuild his life after going back into practice. Philip Deakin stole thousands of pounds from the 94-year-old to fund a gambling addiction after being put in charge of her savings. He was given a two-year suspended sentence in August 2014 after pleading guilty to fraud by abuse of position and resigned from his post as director of town centre-based accountancy firm TBD Associates. But Mr Deakin, of Littleborough, Rochdale, is now working for Littleborough-based Calderbrook House Ltd, an accountancy firm incorporated in April 2015, alongside his son William, who is the company’s director. Mr Deakin, who owns 40 per cent of the company’s shares, is not breaking any laws in returning to accountancy and said he is honest with clients about his past and regrets his actions.
He said he has since overcome his gambling addiction and is looking to put the incident behind him. Mr Deakin, a former captain and long-standing member of Littleborough Cricket Club, said: “In my past, some very bad personal decisions were made. I was punished for them and it was proved that I had a gambling addiction.” I have tried to put it behind me and get on with my life and try to earn a living to look after my family.
“Obviously, I regret what happened and the consequences for family and friends. “What is the story? This was a story in August 2014. “There is no legal requirement to be a qualified accountant and there are thousands of unqualified people practising accountancy.” But a former colleague at School Lane-based TBD Associates says his return to the profession is ‘wrong’. Katie Bowmer, the firm’s business development and group HR manager, said that Mr Deakin, while having more than 30 years’ experience in accountancy, does not have any professional qualifications in the field. She said: “It seems unfair and unjust that a convicted and self-confessed fraudster can once again be responsible for other people’s hard-earned money, with no legal obligation to tell them of his conviction. “Businesses in the borough deserve to know who they are trusting with their money. “If he were qualified, Mr Deakin may have had those qualifications stripped after his conviction. But, because he isn’t, legally he can continue to practice. It is wrong.”