A former care service manager has been warned he faces jail after being found guilty of embezzling thousands of pounds from the charity he worked for.
George McFarlane, who is known by his middle name of Stewart, had denied taking more than £5,000 in donations which had been raised for the Perth & Kinross Association of Voluntary Service (PKAVS).
However following a trial, in which the 44-year-old admitted failing to deposit donations at a safe place and instead went to the Loft nightclub with them in his pocket, he was convicted of taking £5,125 at the Glen Bar, Perth between November 29 2011 and June 1 2014.
He had previously admitted fraudulently using a business fuel card for his own use and filing false expenses claims at PKAVS office in North Methven Street between April 30 2012 and September 1 2014.
Perth Sheriff Court heard the charity had originally operated a “Heath Robinson” attitude to donations — in reference to the cartoonist whose complicated machines achieved simple outcomes — with money being recorded in a notepad, but later the system was updated.
Michael Walsh, who worked as a senior manager for the charity until his retirement, said: “When I first started there was an elderly lady who ran the accounts department with paper and pencil. It was quite Heath Robinson but she was very careful.
“She was replaced by another woman who tried to replace it but it was very slapdash. As PKAVS grew the accounts system didn’t grow with it.”
However he refuted McFarlane’s claim that money had been left in the office pigeon holes.
Sheriff Gillian Wade deferred sentence on McFarlane, Of Stormont Road, Perth, for reports.
Following the conviction a spokesman for PKAVS said: “Following an internal investigation in December of 2014, PKAVS chief executive had reason to believe that our charity had been the victim of financial crime. We immediately reported our concerns to the police at that time.
“PKAVS board, our management and staff have fully supported the investigation and note the outcome of the criminal proceedings against Mr McFarlane.
We in PKAVS continue to ensure that our financial procedures provide the utmost security, transparency and accountability going forward.”