A MAN has been jailed for more than three years after creating a fraudulent will following the death of a Kidwelly man who had no known relatives.
Anthony Simon Chalk, whose address was listed as being in Spain, appeared at Swansea Crown Court to be sentenced for five counts of fraud.
Three counts related to Kazys Mendickas, who was living at Abbey Street, Kidwelly, until his death in February 2002 at the age of 79.
Carmarthenshire Council paid for his funeral, the court heard.
"Originally from Lithuania, his neighbour Alwyn Jones said he lived a fairly solitary existence," said prosecutor, Jim Davies. "After his death, his house was left empty and started to look abandoned."
The court heard the "real value" of the house would be £75,000.
In 2003, the authority contacted the treasury solicitors office, and sent them the title deeds of the property.
This led to a notice being put in national and local press, calling on people to come forward to make a claim.
At the same time, a genealogy company was making their own enquiries to trace any surviving relatives, and found a nephew living in Lithuania, and administrative work began in 2006.
But in February 2008, they were informed by the probate registry that the estate of Mr Mendickas, which also included £8,000 savings, had already been granted to David Geraint Jones, who had known Mr Mendickas when he was alive.
The court heard Jones had visited the probate registry in Cardiff with a will signed by two witnesses, one of which was Chalk.
The will was said to have been made in October 2001 — months before Mr Mendickas died.
A further two charges related to an identical case following the death of Patrick Carroll, of Slough, on March 20, 2006, which saw the men share £88,0000 of his savings. Both cases amounted to around £150,000.
Mitigating for Chalk, David Elias said that at the time of the offences Chalk's son was in hospital in Preston and died aged just 29 after suffering a brain tumour.
Chalk was trying to get money to help pay for stays in the area for his wife at the time.
Chalk was sentenced to 40 months in prison, to be run concurrently for the five charges by Judge Huw Davies, who described him as being "in the driving seat".