July 26, 2011

Depressed library worker defrauds library, makes self more depressed


David Dinham

An IT manager at the National Library of Scotland has been jailed for defrauding the library of £500,000. According to a report in the Scotsman, “Chief information officer David Dinham was sentenced to two years yesterday after he secretly awarded his own IT company library contracts worth more than £240,000.”

What’s more, says the Scotsman, Dinham “spent another £260,000 on goods with a government credit card he was entrusted with by his employers, in his role as manager of the institution’s goods and services.”

Because of his seniority, Dinham’s credit card spending went unnoticed and unchecked for four years, according to his own admission. After his credit card fraud was discovered in September last year, Fraud officers were called in to investigate. They then unearthed that he had awarded a company called Raith Solutions ten contracts totaling £240,000. Dinham was also the sole director of a company.

According to the Scotsman:

Dinham told police that some of the services contracted out to the firm were provided. But it would have been difficult for the library to establish just what was provided, the fiscal said.

He also told officers that the credit card transactions were for “personal purchases”, the fiscal said. Defence agent Duncan Hughes said: “He made one purchase with his credit card, a fairly small item, but realised there were no checks.

“He seems to have then continued to purchase, and the money is going up and up. He seems to lurch from feelings of very low mood and depression to periods of mania. He described times of mania when he spent money. He went to Australia for the weekend.”

The defense is stating that Mr. Dinham was on anti-depressants at the time of the fraud, and has since sold all his assets to pay £150,000 of the money back. A hearing to recover the outstanding £350,000 has been set for September.

Valerie Merians is the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.