IT boss jailed for plundering Scottish library
Of money, not books
The technology boss of the National Library of Scotland has been jailed for two years for embezzling money.
David Dinham, a 33-year-old Australian, was chief information officer for the library and in charge of a £1.8m budget to digitise the collection.
After making a small purchase on his company credit card, Dinham realised no checks were being made. Between 2006 and 2010 he blew £260,000.
Dinham also handed his own company, Raith Solutions, library contracts worth £240,000, The Scotsman reports.
Authorities found Raith, of which Dinham was sole director, won 10 contracts. It is not clear what, if any, services were provided.
A confiscation hearing to recover the rest of the £350,000 will take place in September. Dinham has already paid back £150,000 and is involved with the Baptist Church.
Despite defence claims that he was suffering from depression and calls from social workers that he be spared a custodial sentence so his treatment could continue, Sheriff Alastair Noble said prison was inevitable given the gravity of the offences. ®
"Dinham ... is involved with the Baptist Church"
So what? His religion obviously didn't stop him from nicking the cash in the first place, so why should I care whether/where he is praying now?
I wonder if....
...they threw the book at him.
Credit card spending vesus awarding contracts
The 'I was depressed' defence can surely only cover the personal spending on a credit card, setting up a company and then awarding yourself 10 contracts is not a spur of the moment activity!
"If I leave my front door unlocked am I "at least as much to blame" as the burglar that nicks my stuff?"
In the insurance company's eyes, I'm very much afraid you might be. Look up "contributory negligence".
If you're a professionally-run organisation, you never, NEVER put one single person in charge of ANYTHING without there being someone else who knows what's going on. If nothing else, it ensures you have someone as a backup in case that single person gets sick, goes on holiday or quits.
And you do audits. You can reasonably expect to find minor stuff wrong or misfiled, or the process misunderstood. People are human, and saying "just do your job" is not much use when it comes down to interpretation of several squillion pages of rules. And when it comes to finances, there are VERY strict rules about what you can and can't do, which if you fail to follow them will put your organisation in a very nasty position with the tax authorities, unions or a disaffected employee. This is a serious balls-up by the finance department.
"At least as much to blame" is certainly going too far. But a company has to recognise that no-one knows their employees well enough to give them absolute trust. Suppose an electrician told you "I'll do this work for you if you'll just give me complete access to your bank account" - would you be stupid enough to do it? Because that's precisely what this bunch of muppets effectively did.
Not all of the story
And what became of the people who didn't check this man's work? An organisational structure that puts the keys to the cash register in a man's pocket and then turns away is at least as much to blame as the man who fails to withstand the temptation.
Meanwhile, doubtless, some clerk is having their £10 bill for office supplies mercilessly scrutinised.