No prison for fraudster boss who blew £104,000 on lapdancers

A finance boss who blew more than £100,000 (€111,741) in a lap-dancing bar using his firm’s credit card has walked free from court.

A finance boss who blew more than £100,000 (€111,741) in a lap-dancing bar using his firm’s credit card has walked free from court.

Eleven people lost their jobs because married Ian Tulloch (aged 59) falsified profits to make his bonus, while spending £104,000 (€116,213) on naked dancing girls at the Spearmint Rhino club.

The sum could theoretically have paid for more than 5,000 nude lap dances, at £20 (€22.35) a time, at the venue in central London.

All the while the £55,000 (€61,460)-a-year managing director of a steel supply firm was paying with money invented by falsifying accounts to boost the company’s profits and award himself bonuses of £73,000 (€81,575).

In reality the firm was making losses and 11 people had to be made redundant at KB (Northern) Reinforcements after Julian King, from Greater Manchester Police, uncovered a £3m (€3.35m) black hole in their accounts.

And when fraud squad investigators went through Tulloch’s personal finances they found the father-of-two had made credit card payments of £104,000 (€116,213) to Spearmint Rhino alone.

Tulloch, of Lordswood Close, Chorley, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to one count of fraudulent trading, 29 counts of falsifying company documents and two counts of making a false statement to auditors at an earlier hearing.

Two counts of theft were left on file.

He was sentenced yesterday to 12 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester.

He was also ordered to complete 300 hours’ community work and ordered to pay £150,000 (€167,559) compensation.

In a complicated scam covering two years between 2004 and 2006, he doctored his firm’s sales and purchase invoices to inflate the company profits and stock.

Tulloch would duplicate invoices sent out to customers for a basic sale of a steel bar and alter documents to make it look like a more complex service was provided.

He inflated profit and showed stock levels to be higher than they were.

He also delayed payment and altered invoices from his suppliers to create a similar effect.

The false sales invoices from August 2004 to May 2006 total about £430,000 (€480,337), while the value of the falsified purchase invoices for the same period is about £2m (€2.23m).

All scrap payments from selling any of the firm’s waste metal were made in cash to Tulloch directly between July 2005 and May 2006.

These payments, totalling £76,000 (€84,884), were never recorded in KBN’s accounts.

Detective Constable Julian King, from GMP’s Fraud Unit, said: “Ian Tulloch created false company records for KBN over a prolonged period.

“Tulloch’s activities gave the false impression of a highly successful company with him at its helm.

“However, the image created by Tulloch was all based on lies, allowing him to receive a highly paid income and large annual bonuses.

“In the current economic climate most people are doing what they can to help their employees survive – while Tulloch just helped himself.

“His greed almost brought KBN to its knees and sadly led to a number of people losing their jobs in terribly uncertain times.”

Tulloch started as a salesman at the company 30 years ago and became managing director in the late 1980s.

Tulloch later admitted falsifying paperwork to bosses and was sacked in 2006.

After an internal investigation exposed the scale of his offences, police were called in and he was arrested in May 2007.

More in this section

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox