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| 1 minute read

Paying a forfeit - criminal acts and pensions

A council tax and recovery team leader has admitted to de-frauding Aberdeen City Council of over £1 million over a period of 17 years.  

He faces a significant jail sentence but that is probably of limited consolation to the council. They will want the money back.

Losing £1 million to fraud would be unwelcome at any time but with local government finances particularly stretched at the moment, finding out whether you can get anything back from a fraudster takes on a particular urgency.

Often the answer is ‘no’ because the money has all been spent. In this case, the offender, having initially taken money to pay off debts and then developed a taste for the good life, was still in debt at the time of his arrest. However, whereas here, the individual is likely to have a significant pension pot, it may be possible to recover some of the money from that pension.

In the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) (which would be the relevant scheme in this case), there are two ways in which the money could be recovered - either by asking the Secretary of State to issue a forfeiture certificate or by applying to the relevant LGPS fund to recover the money from the fund.  There are detailed rules around when this is possible and some significant restrictions which we have previously covered.

For help navigating these rules or recovering money from employees who have committed fraud, misconduct or other criminal acts, please contact Doug Mullen or Lauren Broderick.

A worker has admitted embezzling more than £1m from Aberdeen City Council.


employment, pensions, lgps, local government pension scheme, local government