An Edinburgh man has been sentenced to two years in prison after admitting he forged a relative’s signature on a will, reports the BBC.
Desiderio Coppola died in October 2011 and left behind a substantial estate amounting to around £7 million.
He had written a will in July 2010 that left some of his estate to family and friends. Included amongst his beneficiaries was his second cousin, Paul Coppola, who was to receive a bequest of £100,000. The will also specified that the tenants who rented business properties from him were to be given the opportunity to buy them. The remainder of his estate, once all bequests were paid out, was to be left to charity Medicins Sans Frontieres.
Shortly before Desiderio died, Paul Coppola produced a new will that didn’t refer to the charity or business properties at all, but instead left the remainder of estate to him.
When questioned about the circumstances of this will he claimed Desiderio had agreed to change his will and leave out the charity when Paul had asked him to.
The will obtained confirmation in June 2012 and the bequests were paid out. Paul received substantial assets, including two properties in Edinburgh and a sum of cash.
However, suspicions were raised about the validity of the second will and towards the end of 2013 legal action was taken to have it set aside. Paul Coppola subsequently admitted to forging Desiderio’s signature on the will.
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