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Former bursar of Plymouth school is charged with fraud

By Plymouth Herald  |  Posted: December 13, 2011


Paul Gorman

The former bursar of a college is to appear before magistrates on fraud charges.

Paul Gorman, of Oak Drive, Crownhill, Plymouth, was charged by police with three counts of fraud, all relating to his time as bursar of St Boniface's Catholic College.

The 64-year-old – who had been bursar and estate manager at the Roman Catholic school in Boniface Lane, Plymouth for several years – was arrested by officers from Plymouth's Financial Investigation Team on May 13 this year. He was charged yesterday on three counts under the Fraud Act 2006.

The first charge is that between November 30, 2010 and July 1, 2011 he dishonestly made a false representation, namely enrolling on the 'Cyclescheme' salary sacrifice scheme, intending to make a gain by keeping part of his salary free of tax or national insurance. The second charge is that between October 24, 2010 and January 25, 2011, he dishonestly made a false representation, using a particular bank card to purchase goods and services.

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The third charge is that between March 31, 2008 and March 31, 2001, he committed fraud by acting "against the financial interests of the college and Plymouth City Council" and dishonestly abused his position as bursar.

Following his arrest, Gorman told reporters he was "innocent of these scurrilous allegations" claiming that anyone who knew him knew he was "not capable of such a thing".

He was suspended indefinitely from his position in March this year.

He said that when he was arrested two months later "it was completely out of the blue and the ground dropped out from beneath my feet". He was summoned to a hearing at St Boniface school in July, but was unable to attend for health reasons.

Gorman is understood to have been a few months away from his retirement when he had been arrested by investigators.

Last week, it was reported how St Boniface College had warned staff that they could face redundancy to help plug an alleged £1.1 million deficit.

Headteacher Peter Eccles admitted the college – whose origins date back as far as 1856 – was "facing some financial challenges" and confirmed that job cuts were being considered.

Plymouth City Council said it had been working "closely" with the governors of the college – a registered charity.

Gorman will appear before Plymouth Magistrates' Court on January 11, 2012.