Tayside and Central Scotland

Bookkeeper denies £192,000 embezzlement at Dundee firm

A bookkeeper has gone on trial accused of embezzling £192,000 from a Dundee decorating firm.

Catherine Bryceland, 49, is alleged to have embezzled Raymond Gloag Painters and Decorators over the course of four years.

The firm's director, Raymond Gloag, told a trial that he felt "hurt" when the allegation was reported to police.

He told the court that the financial side of the business was dealt with by Ms Bryceland.

Mr Gloag told Dundee Sheriff Court that he didn't understand details such as corporation tax or dividends.

Accounting and tax documents were shown to the court purporting to have been signed by Mr Gloag and his wife, but he denied the signatures on them belonged to the couple.

'Computer illiterate'

Emails between the firm's accountants and Mr Gloag's email address were read out which he said he had no knowledge of, adding that he was "computer illiterate".

Mr Gloag told the trial: "Catherine would deal with the accountants and I'd ask her how she felt we were doing with the figures.

"I'd be told everything was fine - maybe sometimes we'd be tight and other times we would be better.

"On one occasion we were going to be tight for the workers' Christmas wages and Catherine said she could cover the shortfall if I wrote a cheque for the amount when a payment came in from a customer that was due.

"That was the only time there was ever a cheque written directly to her."

Ms Bryceland denies a single charge of embezzlement.

It is alleged she took the money while employed as a bookkeeper at the firm between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2009.

The trial, before Sheriff Michael Fletcher and a jury, continues.

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