27 July 2015

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has uncovered and resolved a sophisticated case of fraud.

Around £220,000 was stolen by one employee using complex financial disbursements over an eight-year period. The monies have already been identified and recovered from the perpetrator, who no longer works for the Society, and a case filed with Police Scotland.

Kath Mainland, Chief Executive of The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: "We have been a victim of a sophisticated fraud campaign conducted by one individual in a position of responsibility over an extended period of time.

“The amount of money involved in any given year was, on average, less than one per cent of the Fringe Society’s annual turnover and not operationally impactful. We do take matters such as this very seriously. Despite already recovering the funds I wanted to be open about the situation and offer the opportunity to members to discuss this at our Annual General Meeting in August."

Under Police advice, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society cannot name the individual involved nor disclose specific information due to the ongoing Police investigation.

Kath Mainland added: "This matter has had no impact on the Fringe itself, and we are looking forward to what will be a fantastic celebration of culture and entertainment from all around the world.

“The disappointment at having identified the crime is certainly alleviated by our success in recovering the funds swiftly and being able to move on.

“The measures required to reinforce our financial processes have already been taken, although I am satisfied that not much more could have been done to prevent us falling victim to such a deliberate and sophisticated crime."

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society asked independent forensic accountants to review its processes to ensure all lost funds were identified and recovered. This project is now complete and the recommendations implemented. Ticket revenue and restricted public funds are already ring-fenced and were not involved.

For further information, please contact Neil Mackinnon, Head of External Affairs, Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, on 0131 240 1919 or [email protected]