A manager who embezzled more than £60,000 from the caravan park in an elaborate cash scam has been jailed for three years.
Kevin O'Neill was manager of five-star Clayton Caravan Park, near Dairsie, Fife, when he pocketed the cash in a two-year scheme.
O'Neill, who earned a salary of £63,000 a year running the park, selling caravans and organising staff, had been described as a "trusted employee" by the family who own the park.
But a trial at Cupar Sheriff Court heard he scammed sums ranging between £800 and £12,000 by fabricating transactions.
Park owner Dorothy Kennedy told the trial that a "seed in her mind" was planted when a customer talked of paying his fees to O'Neill in a lump cash sum.
She added that the affair "blew up" over what she claimed was a fictitious buyer invented by O'Neill in relation to a deal over the sale of a caravan.
Mrs Kennedy told the court that the caravan was still on the stock list despite having been sold by O'Neill more than a year earlier for a cash payment of £9000.
During her evidence she listed a number of occasions when she claimed money from caravan sales and site fees was unaccounted for.
The jury was read a list of instances in which it was accepted that O'Neill was given sums of cash which had not been entered into the business's books.
But O'Neill claimed he had an agreement with park co-owner Colin Kennedy whereby he would receive "backhanders" for accepting cash payments.
O'Neill told the court he had carried out false transactions on the instruction of Mr Kennedy and said he had covered up his boss's attempts to "cook the books" because he loved his job.
Fiscal depute Brian Robertson, summing up the case for the jury, said: "Either the accused is the culprit and he has embezzled money, or Colin Kennedy is the real culprit and the accused is just the scapegoat, that is the key issue."
Sheriff Charles Macnair QC told the jury that they could convict O'Neill even if they believed Mr Kennedy was also involved in the scam.
O'Neill, 63, of Shepherd Street, Kirkcaldy, had denied a total of 14 charges of embezzlement, totalling £74,000, which took place between June 2008 and March 2010.
He was convicted by a majority verdict of 13 charges totalling £62,548 after a two-week trial.
Defence lawyer Caroline McCallum handed over character references in a bid to keep O'Neill out of jail.
He added: "If there is a delay in sentencing he could come up with reasonable proposals to start paying back the money. He is not in a position to offer any proposal for repayment at this time. His position is that he was not involved in an embezzlement but was acting under the instructions of an employer, albeit he knew he was doing something wrong."
Sheriff Charles Macnair QC jailed O'Neill for three years.
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