Financial Advisor for French Heroine Vindicated in Court

Financial Advisor

A financial advisor that had been working for a heroine of the French Resistance has been cleared by a judge of any wrongdoing. The judge ruled that 57-year-old Barry Jefferd was acting in the best interest of his client, Armande Cohen, and did not abuse the power of his position.

The charges against Jefferd stem from his choice to assist Cohen with altering her will which had previously allowed for the totality of her worldly possessions to be left to her now deceased brother. Jefferd was charged with both fraud and forgery for his role in the will's alteration.

Ms. Cohen was an award recipient of the Croix de Guerre during World War II for the bravery she displayed in resistance to the Nazis. The complaint filed against Jefferd alleged that Cohen was suffering from dementia and did not possess the capacity to make a decision regarding her own finances.

Judge Bartle QC disagreed with this assessment of Cohen's mental faculties and also found that Jefferd did not appoint himself as a beneficiary to any of Cohen's assets. The judged opined that it was 'counter-intuitive' to believe that Cohen would commit an act of fraud with no benefit to himself.

A doctor of Ms. Cohen, Olivier Raymond, was also charged in the case and it was discovered that Cohen had allocated for Raymond to receive a flat that she owned after her death. Reymond was also accused of using his position to divert more than 100,000 in British pounds during a period from 2011 to 2016.

Judge Bartle halted the trial for both men halfway through the process and issued not guilty verdicts. His ruling was that there was no case to be answered by the accused men.

Judge Bartle explained that all that was involved in the care of Cohen following a hospital visit in 2011 were of the opinion that her condition had improved. He also drew the conclusion that Jefferd made sure that Cohen's wishes were followed when the will was originally drafted as well as when it was amended in 2012.

The judge did say that it was apparent that Jefferd believed Cohen's mental capacity to be in a state of flux and sought to provide protection to her in the light of this circumstance.

The judge's assessment went along with the ideas expressed by Jefferd's defense team who characterized it as 'ridiculous' to think that their client was acting either dishonestly or in any way that did not consider the best interests of Armande Cohen.

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