William Eichler 16 February 2017

Fraudulant bus director order to pay nearly £43k to council

A former bus firm managing director has been ordered to repay £42,894 to a Welsh council for making false claims about concessionary fare passenger numbers.

David Hulme, 56, was jailed for six years last March for fraud and false accounting while he was the director of Padarn Buses.

Between July 2011 and December 2012 he claimed £495,857 for the company and had personally benefited from the fraud by £87,683.

Firm owner Darren Price also pleaded guilty to false accounting and was sentenced to two years and three months.

‘This was an extremely serious case in which substantial sums of money were fraudulently extracted from the public purse,’ said a spokesperson for Gwynedd Council.

‘As the judge noted at the end of the case, this is a case of high culpability.’

The council said because of the nature of the fraud it would have been ‘extremely difficult’ to find the information needed to report the case to the police earlier.

But once they had found the relevant information, the council spokesperson said, they reported it to the police immediately.

‘Since then, councils across Wales along with the police have been working closely with the Welsh government to review procedures with bus companies who claim for concessionary tickets,’ they said.

‘As the Council administers the concessionary tickets scheme on behalf of the Welsh Government, any funds received in this case will be transferred on to the government.’

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