The boss of a Scottish transport firm has been jailed for 16 months over a massive fraud involving police escort contracts.

James Campbell, former director of West of Scotland Heavy Haulage, was sentenced to prison at Airdrie Sheriff Court after an investigation found he altered paperwork for services provided to the firm by police forces in Scotland and Wales.

The fraud meant Glasgow-based Campbell could overcharge a Spanish company by £110,000 for the transportation of wind turbine parts.

The court heard how the director inflated invoices from the Scottish Police Authority and South Wales Police over the price of police escorts to gain additional funds from Navarra-based Siemens Gamesa.

The Cumbernauld haulier, which specialised in transporting heavy loads, entered into a contract with Siemens to ferry the wind farm components and due to their size they required escorts to ensure safe transportation.

The parts went to three sites in Scotland and one in Wales.

Evidence uncovered by Police Scotland’s economic crime unit showed that Campbell altered and falsified the invoices from the police forces in order to obtain more money from the Spanish firm.

The charges were incorporated into the transport company’s costs before the overall bill was forwarded to Siemens.

However, concerns about the invoices issued by West of Scotland Heavy Haulage were raised by a member of staff at the Spanish company in 2017.

The matter was passed to Police Scotland, which carried out a raid on Campbell’s business address and seized a haul of electronic devices.

West of Scotland collapsed into administration in October 2017 after Police Scotland withdrew its escort service, preventing the firm from completing its contracts.

James Campbell was sentenced at Airdrie Sheriff Court

James Campbell was sentenced at Airdrie Sheriff Court

Source: Shutterstock

Campbell is now the subject of confiscation action under proceeds of crime legislation to recover monies fraudulently obtained.

Les Brown, Procurator Fiscal for South Strathclyde, said: “This was a brazen example of an individual inflicting serious financial harm on an overseas company and its employees.

“James Campbell was involved in a fraudulent enterprise concerning a significant sum of money.

“We take such criminality very seriously and will not stop at prosecution and have commenced proceedings to recover the benefit he gained from his criminal activities.”