Embezzlement in Scotland — Man Steals £35,000 to Spend on Wedding

A COUNTY superbike racer who embezzled thousands of pounds from a dental practice has narrowly avoided a jail sentence.

Stuart Anderson swiped £35,000 from the accounts of Dental Express and, a court heard, splashed out on his wedding to wife Melanie.

Anderson was taken on as finance director at the dental firm in 2009.

The finance expert, of Perth’s Grove, Prestonpans, soon began fleecing the Edinburgh-based company over a 30-month period until his scam was uncovered following a bank audit in 2012.

The Royal Bank of Scotland audit showed thousands of pounds had gone missing from the firm’s accounts and police were called in.

Father-of-one Anderson, who had continually denied any involvement, was subsequently sacked from his position as company director in August 2012.

But Anderson, who races motorbikes for the Kataztrophy Race Team and competes in the Clubman and Scottish Superbike Championships, escaped a prison term after admitting the theft at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last Friday.

The 35-year-old was ordered to complete 270 hours of unpaid work and handed a Restriction of Liberty Order which means he must remain in his house between 9pm and 7am for the next 100 days.

The court heard Anderson disputed that he had splashed out thousands of pounds on his wedding held at the exclusive 15th century Dalhousie Castle, Bonnyrigg, in 2012.

At a previous court hearing last month, fiscal depute Anthony Steele told the court that Anderson had used around £13,000 of the embezzled cash to pay for his wedding.

But during last Friday’s hearing, Anderson’s solicitor denied he had spent any of the stolen funds on his nuptials despite the Crown continuing to insist that he had.

Sheriff Frank Crowe noted the social work report stated Anderson “disputes some of the narrative, particularly the funding of the wedding” but following the sentencing the Crown maintained its position that he had indeed used the funds to pay for his big day.

Sheriff Crowe was also told he had paid back the cash taken from the dental firm’s accounts after he had “inherited a financial mess”.

Solicitor Neil Allan, defending, said his client had used cash from his own account to pay dental suppliers but that “[financial] matters became very confused” when attempting to get the money back.

Mr Allan added Anderson had handed back his 25 per cent shareholding in the company and had paid £5,000 to his former employers “to pay for legal costs” following an employment tribunal after he was sacked from his position as finance director.

Sheriff Crowe told Anderson: “This is by no means a straight forward case but you have admitted stealing the money from the firm you were entrusted and when you were in control of the firm’s finances.

“You have been very close to going to prison because embezzlement means a breach of trust.

“It is not just stealing money but it is taking money when you have been entrusted with it. I did think very closely of sending you to prison but you have previously been of good conduct and I propose to give you a community package as a direct alternative to custody.”

The superbike racer was originally charged with embezzling £152,231 from Dental Express, in Portobello, Edinburgh, but his guilty plea to the reduced amount was accepted by the Crown at last month’s trial diet.

He pleaded guilty to embezzling £35,000 from Dental Express while acting as Financial Director between January 1, 2010 and July 30, 2012.

“It is not just stealing money but it is taking money when you have been entrusted with it. I did think very closely of sending you to prison but you have previously been of good conduct and I propose to give you a community package as a direct alternative to custody.”

The superbike racer was originally charged with embezzling £152,231 from Dental Express but his guilty plea to the reduced amount was accepted by the Crown at last month’s trial diet.

Do you have questions about embezzlement?  Give Prosperident a call at 888-398-2327 or send an email to requests@dentalembezzlement.com

 

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