Mar 9 2012 by Jennifer Buchanan, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
AN INSURANCE broker stole thousands of pounds to prop up his ailing business.
And now Prestwick based Donald Morgan has been fined £335,000 and banned from trading.
The once respected businessman’s family home will be sold to help pay the massive bill after he manipulated company computers and falsified reports to hide the truth from his business partner wife Janet, staff and a network of insurers.
This week he revealed why he turned to fraud when his business went “into freefall” five years ago, saying: “I’ve no excuses for what I did.”
Mr Morgan insists that it was his intention to pay the money back once business picked up, but it never did.
He eventually came clean to his wife, the network he stole from and the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
Speaking to the Post on Tuesday morning Mr Morgan explained: “I lost a significant amount of business in a short period of time and borrowed money from the network to prop up my business.
“When business picked up I planned to return it.
“In hindsight what I should have done is downsize and lose some staff, but at the time I was trying to keep my business going.”
The FSA carried out its own investigation before imposing the substantial fine and banning Mr Morgan from trading again.
It said: “Mr Morgan through his firm, Donald Morgan Insurance Services (DMIS), deliberately retained insurance premium payments from a number of clients which should have been paid to insurers via a network, of which DMIS was a member.
“Although DMIS’s clients did not suffer as a result of his actions, the network suffered financial loss as a direct result of Mr Morgan’s actions.
“The FSA considers Mr Morgan’s conduct to be extremely serious because it demonstrates a lack of honesty and integrity .
“Mr Morgan abused the trust and confidence placed in him by clients and other firms.”
Donald Morgan Insurance has been operating in Prestwick since 1983 but Mr Morgan said the
internet has meant a lot more competition.
He added: “It’s a dire situation.
“I hate that everyone has been affected by this, my wife, my children, my grandchildren.
“We’ve subsequently been made bankrupt and everything will have to go including the house.
“I would like to say that I never took any money from my clients, they were always well looked after as were my staff.
“But I should never have done it.”