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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 November 2006, 15:19 GMT
Prison term for funds fraud boss
Tony Freeman
Freeman fraudulently took 450,000 from his fundraising company
A businessman who was at the centre of a fraud involving a cancer fundraising company has been jailed for 18 months.

Tony Freeman, 40, from Glasgow, had admitted fraudulently taking 450,000 from his fundraising company just days before it went bust three years ago.

Eighty-four staff at Solutions Recruitment and Management Consultancy, based in Paisley, lost their jobs.

The company was the commercial fundraiser for Breast Cancer Research (Scotland).

Last week, the High Court in Edinburgh heard that Freeman, of Newlands Road, in Glasgow, had paid back 210,000 from the proceeds of his crime.

On his appearance for sentencing in Glasgow, Freeman's defence counsel, Peter Gray QC, asked judge Lord Kinclaven to consider a non-custodial sentence.

think all breast cancer charities in Scotland have been affected by this man's actions
Jan Stirrat
Scottish Breast Cancer Campaign

However, the judge said that, having given "anxious consideration" to Mr Gray's plea, he considered a jail term appropriate.

The sentence was backdated to 26 September when Freeman's bail was revoked.

Freeman waved to his girlfriend as he was led to the cells.

However, two women wearing Scottish Breast Cancer Campaign rugby shirts waved their charity's banners at him.

Jan Stirrat and Alice Montgomery, of the Scottish Breast Cancer Campaign - which Freeman was not involved with - said Freeman's actions had damaged giving to breast cancer charities.

'Raked in'

Mrs Stirrat said: "I think all breast cancer charities in Scotland have been affected by this man's actions.

"People have been saying we are not giving to you. He raked in millions from breast cancer charities by charging huge commissions, and goodness knows how many millions he has cost us by his activities."

Mr Gray said that Freeman was offering to repay a further 237,600 by borrowing from a family friend and his partner.

He said further cash would be paid once the Crown revoked restraining orders on his assets.

Up until the middle of 2003, Freeman was paying himself 190,000 a year to run the company.

However, his activities came under the scrutiny of the watchdog the Scottish Charities Office and charity commissioners south of the Border.

They found Freeman's two clients - Paisley-based Breast Cancer Research (Scotland) and the sister organisation Breast Cancer Relief based in Manchester - had paid millions for his services.


SEE ALSO
Charity conman pays back 210,000
01 Nov 06 |  Glasgow and West
Cancer funds fraudster faces jail
26 Sep 06 |  Glasgow and West
Tougher charity controls in place
24 Apr 06 |  Scotland
Charity fundraiser in liquidation
06 Jun 03 |  Scotland

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