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Woman guilty of £110,000 fraud

By Newsdesk
Dumfries and West
Woman guilty of £110,000 fraud

A WOMAN who conned a Castle Douglas garage firm out of £110,000 has been warned that she could be facing a prison sentence.

The warning came at the end of a seven-day trial after a jury found Wanda Campbell, 43, guilty on a charge of acting with others and fraudulently obtaining or stealing the cash at the business of James Haugh, Castle Douglas Limited, and elsewhere, between March 2012 and October 2013.
During the trial at Dumfries Sheriff Court, the firm’s managing director, James Haugh, 35, had told the jury of nine women and six men that in the early 2000s there had been a breakdown in communication between family members and there was a split with another company being set up in Dumfries.
At the time he had received notification of a tax investigation and he had been advised by a friend to see Campbell who had previously worked with HMRC and would have experience of dealing with these types of investigations.
In the court Campbell had maintained a plea of not guilty to pretending that the business required, for legitimate business purposes, including demonstrating financial liquidity, to place funds with a client account under her control and they would remain in the client account until they were returned to the business.
The charge indicated that there was no legitimate business reason to hold the funds in a client account but she proposed this and induced James Thomson Haugh and James Haugh to pay sums amounting to £110,000 which she appropriated to her own use.
The verdict of the jury was this week unanimous and Campbell was served with a proceeds of crime order.
Sheriff Scott Pattison told her that she had been found guilty of a serious crime which had had an impact on individuals and a business.
He deferred sentence to October 31 for background reports and added: “It would not be fair of me if I did not tell you that it could be a prison sentence.”