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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Embezzler who stole £30,000 charity cash must pay it back

This news post is almost 10 years old

Jailed project manager from Dunblane ordered to pay back stolen Big Lottery Funds

Fiona Barnes set out to line her own pockets with money intended to help the local community

A social enterprise project manager jailed for embezzling over £30,000 of a Big Lottery Fund award has been sentenced to over a year in jail and ordered to pay the funds back.

Fiona Barnes (52) from Dunblane, who also faked documentation pretending to have cancer in an attempt to avoid court appearances, was today issued with a confiscation order for £30,781 at Dumbarton Sheriff Court.

Barnes was employed by Clydebank Social Enterprise as a project manager, to manage a £110,000 grant provided by the Big Lottery Fund to develop new business premises.

Between March 2009 and April 2010 she embezzled £30,781 of these funds, including payment of £23,805 to accounts held in the name of a relative.

She ultimately pled guilty to embezzlement on 21 January 2014, and on 26 February was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment.

Lindsey Miller, procurator fiscal for organised crime and counter terrorism, said: "Fiona Barnes set out to line her own pockets with money intended to help the local community.

“Despite her attempts to avoid justice, she now faces a lengthy period behind bars, and today we have secured a confiscation order for the entirety of the money which she embezzled.”

All funds recovered will be re-invested in the community through the CashBack for Communities programme.