Couple in dock over alleged scam

Falkirk Sheriff Court

Falkirk Sheriff Court

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A deaf couple will face trial next month accused of mounting a four-year scam to defraud taxpayers of nearly £250,000.

It is alleged Andrew and Caroline Thomson submitted bogus claims for sign language interpreters they did not need – including one for a business trip by Andrew to Las Vegas – and employed a company which they themselves owned to supply them.

The husband and wife, who ran on-line interpretation services for the deaf, are said to have formed a fraudulent scheme to obtain funding, to which they were not entitled, to pay for British Sign Language interpreters under the Government’s Access to Work Scheme.

At Stirling Sheriff Court on Tuesday, lawyers for Andrew Thomson (51) and Caroline Thomson (52), of Stephens Croft, New Carron, Falkirk confirmed the couple maintained their pleas of not guilty to all the allegations.

Solicitor Murray Aitken, for Andrew Thomson, said any trial was likely to take “at least three to four weeks”.

Addressing the couple through a BSL interpreter provided by the court, Sheriff William Gilchrist ordered them to appear at a further procedural hearing on March 15, before a special jury sitting scheduled for March 29.