Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Employee charged over Edinburgh burial fraud claims

Mount Vernon cemetery
Image caption Mount Vernon cemetery is run by the Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh

A former employee of an Edinburgh cemetery has been arrested and charged amid allegations of burial fraud.

An investigation found evidence that burial plots were routinely mis-sold at the Mount Vernon cemetery since the mid-1990s, BBC Scotland has been told.

Police said a 45-year-old former cemetery superintendent had been charged after a fraud investigation.

It is understood the Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh called in police in 2015.

The archdiocese runs the cemetery.

It is alleged that families handed over thousands of pounds at the cemetery office in return for fake burial documents.

When the time came, it is claimed some discovered the graves did not exist or were already full.

Det Insp Paul Grainger, of Police Scotland, said: "Following an investigation into fraudulent activity at the Mount Vernon Cemetery in Edinburgh, a man has been arrested and charged. The 45-year-old will appear in court at a later date.

"Our inquiries continue and during the course of this investigation we will approach any individuals or families that our evidence suggests have been affected."

In a statement the archdiocese said: "The Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh always expects the highest degree of probity from all employees and volunteers involved in its many pastoral and charitable works.

"It would be inappropriate, however, to comment further while a police investigation is ongoing."

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