Fraud – Accountants sentenced

John Goldring, former chartered accountant to pop celebrities including Mannfred Man and Robert Palmer, was sentenced last week for embezzlement and fraud.

In a bad week for the profession, Goldring was one of three accountants sentenced for financial wrongdoing.

The former entertainment head of mid-tier firm Casson Beckman narrowly escaped jail as an Old Bailey judge handed down a suspended 12-month sentence after finding Goldring guilty of stealing #245,000 from a friend’s trust fund. Judge Peter Jackson said Goldring had escaped jail as a result of impassioned pleas for leniency made by friends, colleagues and former clients.

Goldring left Casson Beckman, now merged into Baker Tilly, in December 1994 after #3.5m in client funds went missing, including those belonging to rock band Uriah Heep. He was thrown out of the English ICA in August last year after being declared bankrupt.

Another chartered accountant, Michael Bull, formerly of McGurran Sulkhon, was not so lucky. He was handed a 21-month sentence at Croydon Crown Court last week after being found guilty of defrauding the Inland Revenue. He is now likely to face disciplinary action by the English ICA.

Fellow partner Brendan McGurran last year received a three-year sentence for VAT evasion. Another, Kevin McGurran, is on the run with a warrant out for his arrest.

Robert MacGillivray, expelled by the Scots ICA in 1997, was also facing jail after being found guilty at Hamilton Sheriff Court of stealing #100,000 from a Bible charity. Sheriff Vincent Canavan deferred sentence for four months, but warned him to expect jail.

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