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Bogus invoice profits paid for Scottish hotel

01 January 2000
Bogus invoice profits paid for Scottish hotel

A maintenance man, who has been jailed for defrauding the British Tourist Authority (BTA) of £500,000 over five years from a string of bogus invoices, invested part of the profits in a Scottish hotel.

Robert Ralston acquired 12-bedroom Mennock Foot Lodge in Sanquhar, Dumfries, in 1995 - the year his scam was rumbled.

Ralston admitted 65 sample charges of false accounting at Southwark Crown Court and was sentenced to three years in jail, reduced to 30 months on appeal, in January. His sentence could not be reported until the conclusion of hearings against his alleged accomplice, BTA administration officer Margaret Hall, who processed 150 of his invoices.

But Hall walked free last week after two juries failed to reach a verdict on 31 charges of false accounting brought against her.

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