By Kevin Duguid
THE National Library of Scotland has been swindled out of 500,000 by one of its most senior managers, it emerged today (Tue).
IT boss David Dinham stole the money over a four-year period when he had control over huge budgets at the historic institution.
The high-flying 33-year-old is facing a jail term after NLS staff spotted financial irregularities and called in the police.
The NLS today admitted it had fallen victim to a
“sophisticated and complex’ crime and that its financial systems had been tightened up.
The institution said it had clawed back 150,000 from Dinham and was taking legal action to try to recover the remaining 350,000.
Dinham admitted the embezzlement charge at a hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last week.
He is due to be sentenced next month once reports into his mental state, ordered by a sheriff, are compiled.
Precise details of how Dinham stole the cash have yet to emerge.
But the offence took place between September 6, 2006, and June 9, 2010, according to court papers.
During that time, Dinham was in charge of a 1.8m project to store the library’s digital archive.
In November 2007 he was involved in employing consultancy firmGlassHouse Technologies to help NLS make its entire collection available across the internet.
The following December the contract to create the archive was handed to the firms Viglen and Hitachi Data Systems.
Dinham spoke highly of the archive system, saying in an interview:
“I know that our cultural heritage is being backed up securely, too – and that helps me sleep at night. “
Dinham is also listed in company records as having been the director of his own Scottish computer firm, the Coatbridge-based Raith Solutions, since November 2008.
And since 2006 he has been a trustee of the UK arm of a charity set up to carry on the legacy of the late Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski, who died in a plane crash in 2004.
Martyn Wade, National Librarian and Chief Executive of the National Library of Scotland, said:
“This was a complex and sophisticated crime committed by a senior manager and budget holder who had a detailed knowledge of internal processes and procedures.
“Our systems identified discrepanciesand as soon as these were confirmed, appropriate action was taken and the police were notified.
“Internal procedures were immediately reviewed and strengthened. A planned upgrade to a new financial system has recently been completed, which should prevent any future misappropriation of this kind.”
“To date over 146,000 of stolen funds has been recovered and the National Library of Scotland is continuing legal proceedings to recover as many funds as possible. “
Mr Wade said it was inappropriate to comment further on the case while legal proceedings continued.
It is not known whether Dinham was sacked from his post or resigned, but he no longer works for the NLS.
Founded in 1689 as the Faculty of Advocates, the NLS holds almost 400 years worth of Scotland’s written history and culture.
As the legal deposit library for Scotland, it is entitled to claim a copy of every publication released in the UK, amounting to over 6,000 items a week.
According to online employment records Dinham has held a number of high-ranking posts at major institutions.
An online employment history claims he once worked as an IT support manager at Worcestershire NHS Trust. He was also employed as a systems manager at the Parliament of Australia, according to records.
He was educated at the Australian National University and at The Open University and claims to have studied psychology.
According to business records Raith Solutions Ltd, has a net worth of around 20,000, with zero turnover or profit.
Dinham is also listed as being a director of the Boris Traikovski Foundation. The charity was said to have a turnover of 698 and to have a profit margin of minus 643. Its net worth is 924.
At last Tuesday’s court hearing Sheriff Michael O’Grady QC asked for psychiatric reports.
Dinham, who was listed as living at an address in Edinburgh, is due to appear back in court on June 21.