Ex-council boss jailed over fraud

Council Headquarters on Market Street.
Council Headquarters on Market Street.
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A FORMER senior manager at Edinburgh City Council has been jailed for 12 months after embezzling more than £100,000 as part of a housing repairs fiddle.

John Warne, stole the money in connection with a VAT repayment fraud and spent it on cars and holidays.

The crime emerged as police investigated VAT-related fraud in the repairs system. A separate inquiry into Edinburgh’s former statutory notice system, run by the Property Conservation and Property Care departments, has been ongoing.

Up until 1998, the council mistakenly charged VAT on repair bills for homeowners. A team was set up inside the local authority, of which Warne was a member, to recoup the cash from HMRC and give it back to home-owners.

However, 55-year-old Warne, who lived in Longniddry in East Lothian diverted £122,925.39 for his own benefit between July 2008 and May 2010, spending the money on classic cars, mortgage payments, and lengthy holidays for relatives. He has since made a full repayment, which included the sale of his home.