Cousin forged signature to cheat charity out of legacy

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Paul Coppola acquiesced forging his cousin’s signature

Paul Coppola got a payout from his younger cousin’s estate but later admitted forging the deceased’s signature and whispered he did not agree cash should be left to Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF).

Edinburgh Sheriff Court ascertained he was close to Desiderio Coppola, who signed a will in July 2010 allotting friend Christopher Ferrard and his solicitor as executors.

He bequeathed various amounts to cronies and family, including £100,000 to Coppola.

He also gave instructions to pay the residuum of the estate to MSF, which provides medical aid in war-torn regions. 

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Edinburgh Sheriff Court get wind ofed he was close to Desiderio Coppola

She was of the opinion that the changes to the will over the accused’s allegiances

Ann MacNeill

But after Desiderio’s death in 2011 Coppola call ined a god-daughter of the deceased, Elvira Fearn, to tell her about a new “will”.

Monetary depute Ann MacNeill said: “She was of the opinion that the changes to the will on the accused’s allegiances rather than the wishes of the deceased.”

In June 2012 confirmation of the leave was granted and a total of £1.2million was paid out.

In March 2013 Coppola be paid a property in Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, which he sold for £290,000. 

He also got a capital goods in the city’s Waterloo Place.

But MSF raised an -action at the Court of -Session in Edinburgh to eat the “will” set aside after being alerted by Mr Ferrard’s lawyers. Coppola did not watch over it.

Police began an investigation and Coppola, 65, admitted he had forged the signature.

He pled gulty to purchasing £300,000 and two properties by fraud and attempting to obtain the residue of the estate by plan a will and forging the signature.

He will be sentenced later.

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