Police make arrest in college embezzlement probe

Exclusive: Arrest follows investigation by Police Scotland into a case of alleged embezzlement at one of the UK's largest colleges

Julia Belgutay

A former member of staff has been arrested by police in an investigation over alleged embezzlement.

An arrest has been made following an investigation into alleged embezzlement at City of Glasgow College. 

A statement from Police Scotland, published today, said: "A 33-year-old woman has been arrested and charged in connection with an alleged embezzlement of funds from Glasgow City College. A report will be sent to the procurator fiscal in due course."

Tes revealed exclusively in June that police were investigating at the college, which is one of the largest in the UK. In July, the college announced a member of staff had been dismissed. 

More on this: Police investigate embezzlement at college

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Background: College sacks employee in embezzlement case

Staff member dismissed

Few details about the allegations have been confirmed. However, the college's annual procurement report 2018-19 states that in April 2019, a fraud was identified by the institution's vice-principal corporate services, and that the circumstances of the case "emerged as a consequence of internal review and reportage".

The college’s internal auditors were commissioned to conduct a forensic review, the report goes on to say, to "quantify the fraudulent activity, identify the nature of the fraud and the underlying reasons why the fraud occurred and to identify lessons to be learned both for the college and for the wider public sector".

"This forensic review identified specific weaknesses in the application of financial controls around purchasing, asset management and budgetary control which were a contributory factor enabling the fraud, and permitting it to go undetected for an extended period."

The report states that the police investigation is ongoing, and the college "is still working with our insurers to recover the value of the stolen equipment".

A City of Glasgow College spokesperson said the college was aware that a former member of staff had been arrested and charged. They added: "When we identified that goods were missing last year, immediate action was taken. The college’s internal auditors were tasked with undertaking a forensic investigation and even tighter internal controls were implemented. 

"Working with Police Scotland, the college has recovered some stolen equipment and we continue to update our stakeholders on progress."

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Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay

Julia Belgutay is head of FE at Tes

Find me on Twitter @JBelgutay

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