As logistical difficulties for Scotland’s justice system start to ease, Scotland has seen 10 cases of high-value fraud in the first half 2021.
The most recent data fromKPMG Fraud BarometerReport reveals that 10 instances of fraud were committed, with a total value of more than PS2.5 million. For 2021, the combined UK figure is PS140 million. Bi-annual reports by the firm measure fraud cases involving losses exceeding PS100,000. These fraud cases are reported to UK courts.
One of the cases in Scotland involved an accounts manager who caused the closure of a business after stealing more that PS250,000 over a period of four years. The 40-year old was sentenced to 20 months in prison.
A second case of similar fraud involved a drug dealer, who created a web design firm as a front to a global Bitcoin scam. The accused is currently serving five year sentence for drug-related crime. He scammed a PS250,000 mortgage and converted and transferred Bitcoin to a total of PS789,000 over six years.
Following the ongoing warning fromPolice ScotlandTake Five to Stop Fraud to be aware of scammers who use sophisticated methods to target vulnerable people and companies.
Annette BarkerHead of Forensic, Jeremy Sullivan, stated: “As Covid-19 restrictions start to ease, we are seeing the opening of the criminal justice and, in turn, an increase of cases of fraud coming before courts.
“The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service stated in March that clearing the backlog could take up to 2025. This is because the total value of all cases in Scotland was greater than PS15.6m. It has been a very difficult year and half since the pandemic started. As some people exploit the vulnerability of organisations and individuals for their own gain, we expect fraud cases to increase.
“It’s encouraging to see cases brought before courts again, but we still have a lot of work to do to get rid of the backlog. We urge everyone to remain vigilant and be aware of potential fraud risks.