Timber firm fraud cut down a peg or two with an £8000 fine

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A former timber firm boss who ended up owing his devastated customers thousands of pounds escaped a jail sentence yesterday (Wednesday).

Churchgoing businessman Vincent McFadden (62) was branded a “pathological liar” when he was found guilty of defrauding customers between 2014 and 2016 to fund a luxury lifestyle.

McFadden traded for more than 26 years, selling doors, floors, skirting boards and cut timber from his base in Dalderse Avenue, Falkirk and building up an “exemplary” reputation.

However, when trade dwindled, he began demanding money up-front in cash, for goods he never ordered from the manufacturers.

One customer, an 83-year-old former pensions consultant, since diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, was driven to the bank by McFadden’s staff to withdraw more than £2000 that McFadden pocketed.

He defrauded 20 clients of over £19,000 to pay the mortgage on his £600,000 home in Centurion Way, Camelon and to satisfy his wife’s penchant for “fancy” cars.

At Stirling Sheriff Court yesterday Sheriff William Gilchrist ordered McFadden to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work and pay compensation of £8000 to his customers – who will only get back a fraction of the money they lost.

Sheriff Gilchrist said he was satisfied McFadden had not set out to run a “scam”, but instead had begun “robbing Peter to pay Paul” as his formerly successful business ran into difficulties.

He said: “Every single one of the complainers had been a previous customer, and had come back to you because they were satisfied with the service you had provided to them earlier.

“What you did was not initially fraudulent as such, but it developed into a fraud.”