Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Cash confiscated from Edinburgh Council bribery contractors

Brendan Cantwell
Image caption Brendan Cantwell is a former director of ABC

Two contractors who bribed Edinburgh City Council officials have had more than £266,000 confiscated by the Crown.

Kevin Balmer, 54, and Brendan Cantwell, 46, who were co-directors of Action Building Contracts, were found guilty of bribing council officials with cash and hospitality.

They did it in exchange for maintenance and repair contracts in 2015.

They previously spent more than two years in jail for the maintenance fraud of council buildings from 2006 to 2010.

They were jailed in June 2015: Balmer for two years and 10 months and Cantwell for two years and three months after pleading guilty to contravention of the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889.

The two council officials, Charles Owenson and James Costello, they bribed were also convicted and the subject of recent confiscation orders.

Free meals, drink and football tickets worth tens of thousands of pounds were all part of the scam.

At its height, Balmer and Cantwell's company was turning over more than £4m a year.

The two council officials, who were also jailed, previously had more than £80,000.

Liam Murphy, procurator fiscal for specialist casework, said: "Balmer and Cantwell set out to corrupt those who should have been serving the people of Edinburgh, and siphoned money from the public purse into their own pockets.

"Both were imprisoned for over two years, and today our detailed forensic assessment of their financial history has ensured that they have also been stripped of all of their assets."

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