Sunday, 4 December 2011

Darlington Borough Council officer jailed for £100,000 construction scam

The former head of a local authority asbestos department has been jailed for his part in a £100,000 building scam.

Michael Skirving was part of a racket in which two other men, Martin Dougherty and James Burns, submitted bogus invoices to the council for work that was not carried out.

They were all handed prison sentences, along with Graeme Storey who told lies to police during the investigation.

The four men from Hartlepool were jailed at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.
Dougherty’s business MBN Roofing and Builders was paid £75,000 after submitting 15 fake invoices for work on jobs in Hartlepool, Billingham and Middlesbrough.

Skirving emailed Dougherty with instructions of what to put on the paperwork.
Burns submitted invoices through his James Print and Design firm totalling £33,000 for the supply of a cherrypicker in connection with work in Owton Manor, Hartlepool.

A spokeswoman for Darlington Borough Council said: “This case illustrates that dishonesty and fraud will not be tolerated by the council.

My comment:  But it was tolerated by the council long enough for them to defraud over £100,000.  It took 15 FAKE invoices before the council woke up. What if they hadn't been greedy and stopped earlier, would it have still been detected? Surely 1 fake invoice should be detected within days if they had their eye on the ball.

 Read the full story from the source The Construction Index

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