Hunt for embezzler Neil Murray’s stolen £300k

Neil Murray admitted embezzlement charges at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Picture: Lesley Donald
Neil Murray admitted embezzlement charges at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Picture: Lesley Donald
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FORENSIC accountants are set to launch a hunt for almost £300,000 stolen from a marquee firm which counts the Queen among its customers.

Accounts clerk Neil Murray is facing jail after he swiped the cash from Newbridge-based Clycan Management Ltd.

The company, which boasts a royal warrant, was the main provider of marquees for the the Coronation Festival, which took place at Buckingham
Palace to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the coronation in July.

Murray, from Giles Street in Leith, pocketed a total of £273,181 in his scam between January 2004 and February 2009, but none of the cash has yet been traced.

The 43-year-old, who also embezzled £32,136 in cash from Clycan’s payroll account, yesterday admitted embezzlement and proceeds of crime charges.

He was originally accused of embezzling more than half a million pounds from the company, but prosecutors were unable to prove it.

Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard how Murray was given control of the company chequebook by bosses Kathleen and Gordon Pratt.

But instead he forged their signatures and deposited cheques into his personal account.

Depute procurator fiscal Ian Wallace said: “During the course of his employment, he was left with a number of blank cheques which were supposed to be used for the benefit of the business. However, the accused used the cheques for his own benefit.”

Murray, who has a previous conviction for reset, also helped out in the payroll department.

His scam was uncovered when he left the business in February 2009.

The court heard that he was eventually interviewed by police in July 2011.

Mr Wallace said: “He admitted to officers to having access to the finances but made no further comment.

“The money that he obtained has never been traced.”

Sheriff Nigel Ross deferred sentence on Murray until October 8 to allow for reports.