‘Walter Mitty’ bank boss guilty of swindling £90k

Gordon Irvine stole money to bed a customer. Picture: Alan Richardson/Pix-AR
Gordon Irvine stole money to bed a customer. Picture: Alan Richardson/Pix-AR
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A BANK manager swindled almost £90,000 from his branch to fund a lifestyle of foreign holidays and luxury goods in what was described as the “craziest embezzlement” ever.

Gordon Irvine, from Broxburn, even took money from the bank to put into the account of a customer who complained about a £25 bank charge – giving her £250 before sleeping with her that night.

He simply lifted cash from the back of an ATM in Dundee’s Lochee High Street before either spending it or paying it straight back into his own Santander account using self-service machines.

Irvine’s lawyer told Dundee Sheriff Court that he “still protests his innocence” despite a jury convicting him – with a sheriff telling him he had been a “trusted” employee and that jail was the only option.

Irvine, a father-of-two, paid for trips to New York, Lanzarote and Rio de Janiero in cash, but wasn’t even able to take the trip to Brazil because he couldn’t get time off work.

He also paid for a £6900 car, a year’s rent and council tax in cash, fitted his flat out with a pool table and three 50in TVs and bought his girlfriend £200 Ugg boots. In one incredible stunt, Irvine told a customer who complained about a £25 charge she was “beautiful”, but said he didn’t think he’d be able to do anything about it.

Later that night he called her and said: “Check your bank account.”

When she did she found a £250 credit courtesy of Irvine, who then asked if he could come round to her home.

The woman said yes – beginning a sexual relationship with the thief that night.

One former colleague who asked Irvine if he had “won the lottery” was told to check his account by the thief and subsequently found a £5000 deposit there.

Irvine was caught after security staff emptying the ATM noticed huge cash discrepancies and launched a probe.

Fiscal depute Nicola Gillespie told the court: “He did not have some benefactor putting money in his account like some Charles Dickens Great Expectations story.

“He was living a Walter Mitty lifestyle.”

Solicitor advocate Jim Laverty, defending, had urged the jury to clear Irvine of the charge.

He conceded: “The actions of Mr Irvine were suspicious, I accept that.”

However, he added: “If this was an embezzlement it is the craziest embezzlement you will ever come across.”

Sheriff Alistair Carmichael jailed Irvine for 22 months.

newsen@edinburghnews.com