Scotsman steals a million pounds?
No true Scotsman would steal a million pounds.
A former council IT worker in Scotland has been jailed for five years after abusing his system access privileges to help himself to more than £1m of public money. Mark Conway, 52, of Latch Road, Brechin, around 25 miles northeast of Dundee, was jailed today by the High Court in Glasgow after pleading guilty to defrauding …
How does that help the world? On the basis that he's 52 and got five years, he won't work again for the next few years, and because he's got more than four years, the conviction will never become "spent" in disclosure terms.
Realistically, he's never going to work again in anything other than a very junior position with a very forgiving employer. Or more likely, he's never going to work again. Ignoring whether he deserves it, my point is simply that one way or another the tax payer pays for his retirement, so seizing his pension merely means the welfare pot pays for his retirement.
They're talking about taking his work pension. He will still qualify for a state pension, which he'd qualify for regardless. So the tax-payer will still be paying for his retirement whether he was a criminal or not. (Or more precisely, his national insurance contributions will be notionally paying for it).
The fact that he'll probably be on benefit until retirement age is unfortunate, but what are the alternatives? Pretend he doesn't owe the money back? Either way, he'll be dirt poor for the rest of his life and the only winners are the bookies who, no doubt, pocketed most of the stolen money.
Cruel and unusual punishment, have you seen how small the state pension is? He will be reduced to begging on the streets the skirt wearing thieving git. I hope the good citizens kick him every time they see him begging because they now have to make up the difference.
As has been said; what else can they do but seize whatever assets he has?
At least it means he'll only get a few quid a week and not his final salary council pension.
On a similar note..
He stole a million quid.
They expect to raise 50k from the sale of his house. What the actual fuck did he do with the money? What a fool.
"What the actual fuck did he do with the money? - it says he gambled it away straight into the bookies pockets."
Tolerant as I am of the
addiction exploiting thieving bastards gambling industry, I'd be of a mind to get the money back from the bookies, otherwise charge them with handling stolen goods.
Yes yes, I know, it could never happen, but a nice thought...
Yes, you can't charge people with handling stolen goods if it's money that was stolen. That's to ensure that people are willing to accept money when it's tendered in order to purchase something, so that money will "work" as money. I remember seeing a mention of the specific age-old law at the start of a book on economics.
Similar to seizing pension, perhaps this is short sighted.
Council could rent home out whilst he's in prison and let him live his days out when out, hopefully back in employment. Then when dead sell home or WHY. As it is, it looks like state will be supporting him from now on.
> Dundee City Council said in a statement: "Following the discovery of this crime, Dundee City Council has taken action to prevent a fraud of this type from happening again in the future."
Well done, chaps and ms-chaps! Lessons have been learned. Nothing can ever go wrong, now...
Back to the office for tea and medals.
You are as guilty of bigotry as the original poster. There is no place for swearing here. It's just as offensive to me in the same way you find anti-LGBeTc to be. It's this nastiness in language in the connected world that leads to the world being the way it is and allows idiots like Trump into power.
Think before you react.
He got away with siphoning money for seven years.
You only have to be slightly better to get away with it indefinitely. Try rotating schemes every few years. Confuse the issue by gradually making the fake company legitimate. Even if it's only for the last payment, and you immediately dissolve it, that will stop most accountants from looking too closely at the previous payments.
Had he setup "randomcompany 1234 LTD trading as scottish fuel" and a basic business account they probably would have looked no further, shrugged and said "glad we don't use them any more" and moved on. Make ANYONE but you the director of the "company". Job done. it took them 7 years to spot a million quid going missing FFS, so they hardly have access to the finest maths minds of this generation.
It's not like your average council aren't getting ripped off at every possible opportunity. They would have wasted no more time on it than they would looking into why a mouse and KB set cost them 150 quid.
>so they hardly have access to the finest maths minds of this generation.
In my experience accounting isn't so much about math as basic book work - check, double check and cross reference the paper trail...
Which is basically how he was found out; someone probably went to the paper files, couldn't find the paperwork that would normally be associated with a general ledger entry and contacted the bank for the account contact details ...
"My experience is that they spend more time looking at the small purchases than the stonking big ones."
An apocryphal example was the boardroom voting on various financial matters. Complex items of several million pounds were nodded through quickly. Then came the quote for repainting the bicycle shed. The discussion went on for a long time - as it was an issue that everyone actually understood and had an opinion on.
Can't happen again. Now. WTF were the doing for the last 10 years? Where's the asset recorded against the expense? Who's checking the double-entry book keeping? Do they think that self-authorized theft is a new invention? That gambling-related theft is a new thing? Did they think it all?
Was this amount of money so small compared to management wages that they didn't think it was important to follow up?
So he have lost his house, pension, and work.
And the prospects of employment is looking very, very poor.
What will his options be?
2. Steal money, gamble and hope to strike the jackpot
3. Go around as a homeless beggar
In this case crime does not pay, but others will ignore the lesson and try their luck, thinking that maybe, just maybe, they will not get caught.
He's in the UK.
He'll get council housing for one, with a side of state pension.
Before he's old enough to claim that he'll get job seekers allowance etc as well. As long as he shows up to the job centre once a fortnight and pretends he's applying for work. Or of course actually apply for work and spend a few years getting endlessly rejected after interviews when he tries to explain a several year gap on his CV and prays they don't DBS check.
And the prospects of employment is looking very, very poor.
What will his options be?
1. Start proceedings against the council - a case can probably be made that the way the court/council are going about recovery is significantly under valuing the seized assets.
I would be very interested in the pension fund valuation as the figure of £259,000 looks very low for the valuation of an LGPS fund covering 30 years of service - representing a final pensionable salary of around £12,500 pa; likewise, if this is just the lump sum then this would indicate he was on a pensionable salary north of £300,000 pa which also seems unlikely.
2. Use the 5 years in prison to get qualifications (MBA, OU Masters?) in financial systems, fraud and money laundering and so come out and become a speaker on such matters and thus start a renumerative consulting career. At 55~60 on leaving prison, he has potentially 10+ years of gainful employment and the potential to earn £1M - which by using his obvious financial management skills should largely be free of UK tax...
"In this case crime does not pay, but others will ignore the lesson and try their luck, thinking that maybe, just maybe, they will not get caught."
Ah! That is the "I love it when a great plan comes together" syndrome. Among prisoners, that is the past glory topic discussed and not the one that got them there!
Important to note he did it to fund a gambling addiction. He needs rehab, and then he can go back into the world and pay off his debts slowly. Like a mortgage, I guess. Also, some sort of internet and real world house arrest so that he's kept away from places with gambling regardless.
I'm not saying he's not to blame, but he needs help as well as being punished.
It's hard to believe that this kind of thing could go on this long without being caught sooner. If the IT department was run properly, then there would have been safeguards in place such as account auditing.
When I worked for a life insurance company many years ago, the systems were logged, tracked, time stamped, and access was audited for any access required for personnel information and anything involving funds including accounting.
There were also specific users who had access to the specific systems, though administrators and other MIS/IT staff could access specific system areas, but in no way, shape or form, were IT people allowed near the accounting or personnel side of things (HR actually). Anyone, including IT staff were audited and the audit files were sent off to be examined on a frequent basis.
Even my old company, now closed due to the Great Depression of 2007-2009, had an auditing system implemented. This tracked all user logins and system access, though in the simplest form, and was recorded in the event viewer since we were using Windows NT 4.0 (shudders) at the time.
Perhaps this is the right way to do things, and the local city government, being local city government, did not think this far ahead, and placed too much trust in their IT staff.