Friday, September 25, 2015

Former Lothians politician & solicitor who was jailed for stealing £70K from disabled friend lands new job as boss of EU funded Moray Leader

A FORMER solicitor & Tory politician who was jailed for 27 months after stealing at least £70,000 from a disabled client who depended upon him as a close friend – is now handling public cash & EU money flowing into Scotland.

Iain Catto (51) is now the boss of funding programme Moray Leader, an EU funded project run by Moray Council which is also part of the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP).

Catto - formerly a member of Lothian Regional Council from 1990 to 1994 was sacked from his job as a solicitor for gross misconduct. Iain Catto was also censured by the Scottish Solicitors Discipline Tribunal.

Catto was jailed in 2008 after Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard he systematically stole sums of £11,000 and £9,000 at a time between December 2002 and 2004 from the criminal injuries pay-out his client Francis Fleming - had received. He even sold some of his victim's shares to get more cash.

The Scottish Sun newspaper reports:


Thieving brief's new job doling out public cash

By Russell Findlay Scottish Sun  21/09/2015

A FORMER Tory politician who stole £70,000 from a disabled friend has landed a new job handing out taxpayers' cash.

Crooked ex-lawyer Iain Catto was jailed for 27 months after fleecing partially paralysed Francis Fleming.

But he is now the boss of funding programme Moray Leader, which has given away £2million of public money to good causes.

And Catto, 51, also works for charity Foundation Scotland as a "community engagement executive".

Last night his victim's son Frank MacLennan, 51, slammed the decision to hire the ex-con.

He said: "It's a disgrace, he should not be in a trusted position.

"I'm surprised that anyone would give him jobs like these."

Frank, of Falkirk, added: "He should not be working with large sums of money — especially public and charity money."

Former councillor Catto was a rising star in the Scottish Conservatives and worked for blue-chip law firms in Edinburgh.

Brother He befriended his client Francis and pretended to be looking after his finances. Catto became so trusted he even had a key to his victim's home in the capital.

But he stole blank cheques and blew the haul on flights, hotels, meals and a £300 booze splurge.

After he was brought to justice in 2006, his victim Francis, 69, said: "I trusted him better than my brother.

"I thought all his advice was for my own good — I didn't realise he was doing me out of all I had."

Catto, now living in Elgin, joined Moray Leader in July 2013 and works as the programme coordinator. It is run by Moray Council and funded with EU cash.

In April this year Catto joined Foundation Scotland, which covers Moray, Aberdeenshire and Angus.

The charity's website mentions his law degree but not his conviction. A spokesman said: "Iain Catto made us aware of his past.

"We believe everyone should be given a second chance."

Moray Council added: "He was open about his past when we interviewed him. He is not in a position where there is a risk to public funds."

Catto refused to comment.


Iain Catto’s Foundation Scotland profile shows no mention of his criminal past:

Iain joined the Foundation in April 2015 and works part time covering Moray, Aberdeenshire and Angus. He is based in Elgin, and currently spends the rest of his working week working for the Moray LEADER Programme, an EU funded rural development grants programme as its Programme Co-ordinator, where he was full time prior to joining Foundation Scotland. Iain has an honours degree in law, and spent much of his working life operating in Edinburgh. He has been a volunteer for various voluntary organisations over the years, including ones operating with the elderly, young people, and in the field of education.

Iain was brought up in rural areas of Perthshire and Ross-shire, and therefore understands some of the challenges facing rural communities. Iain in his spare time is a follower of Ross County, Leeds United and professional cycling, and is an active member of his local community council, where his particular focus is on transportation issues and licensing matters.

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