Sin Bin: Book-keeper duped friends to steal £220,000 then took them on holiday with ‘lottery winnings’

SinBinA Glasgow book-keeper is facing jail after being found guilty of a £220,000 embezzlement that he tried to cover up by claiming he had won the lottery.

Philip Kennedy, 48, from Paisley, worked for Glasgow city centre firm Robb Ferguson and Co when he used three of his friends to launder cash taken from the accounts of client PJ Enterprises after being entrusted to handle the company finances.

Having been granted access to the firm’s chequebook, Kennedy emptied the account of the pub and café operator by using his trio of unwitting accomplices to cash cheques into their personal accounts before getting them to hand the cash back to him.

One of the three, ex-bouncer David Ross, told how his friend had asked him to cash cheques in his account to help out a pub for which he was doing financial work.

The 51-year-old said: “Once the cheque had cleared, I was instructed to give Mr Kennedy the money.”

Mr Ross said he would get a £40 kickback each time for helping out.

Soon after, Kennedy then asked Mr Ross and another friend John Lafferty if they wanted to go to the Algarve with him and his lover.

Kenneth Smith, 51, a third friend, insisted he was not aware he was taking part in anything unlawful.

A jury heard how Kennedy treated two of the friends to a holiday to Portugal, insisting he had won £50,000 on the Lottery.

Kennedy was convicted of fraud and will be sentenced later this month.

Ross, Smith and Lafferty all pled guilty before the trial to a charge of acquiring criminal property in connection with Kennedy’s fraud.

The three men, also of Paisley, will also be sentenced later this month.

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