On the 3rd November 2001, Colin Hallett won £125,000 on the television quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. His story created quite a stir when the show was forced to freeze the winning cheque following claims that Mr. Hallett had a previous criminal record of which he failed to make evident to the show makers, Celador. The rules of the show clearly state that no one may appear on the show if they have a previous criminal record that is un spent, the minimum period for a spent crime is 5 years. Colin Hallett was jailed for arson in 1990 and he was fined again in 1997 for driving away without paying for £5 worth of fuel. After an investigation it was determined that the arson charge in which Hallett was incarcerated for 2 years was spent and not a concern but the charge of theft from the petrol station was not a fully closed matter. Eventually Mr. Hallett did receive the money he won on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire but sadly he died last year, April 6th, 2007 age 52 having spent very little of his winnings.
Last week the treasury solicitor advertised for his next of kin as they were unable to locate any family that would qualify as a legal heir. Fraser & Fraser, leading firm of International probate detectives took up the chase. The firm specialises in solving the unsolvable and locating family members when others have failed. It was with great regret when the case turned cold ,according to England and Wales law , the detectives can only look as far back as grandparents of the deceased to find an heir and since there were no living relatives left, the money will now go to the Crown. The Crown receives any unclaimed estates to the tune of £25 million a year. Colin had also been barred from the Victoria inn in Ashingdon, pub quiz because he was deemed too clever, unfortunately he was not clever enough to make a will!
Fraser and Fraser are the UK’s leading International firm of probate researchers and heir hunters. With eight European offices and a worldwide network of correspondents, the company has been in business for almost 85 years and are one of the world’s largest firms in their field. On a day to day basis the team spend their time tracking down lost family members of deceased individuals who have either not left a will or left an invalid will. If these services were not provided then the estate would automatically be deposited to the Crown and the rightful heirs would never be located. The company have dealt with over 9000 cases, found over 50,000 heirs and helped hand out well over £100 million to rightful heirs. Shares have been worth less than £5 and others worth several hundred thousand.
Genealogical detectives Fraser & Fraser star in the “The Heir Hunters” which starts a second series on BBC1 on Monday, 30th of June for four weeks.
More information about the Fraser & Fraser team can be found at: www.fraserandfraser.com
For more information or to set up an interview with the stars of the show, please contact:
Erin Woodward at Full Portion Media
Tel: 0845 225 1500
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