Glasgow Charity Lockdown Bingo Conman Convicted

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Steven Massey, a council worker from Glasgow, has been found guilty of a single count of fraud after he conned a charity out of £6400 by hosting bingo events and pocketing the cash for himself.

During the pandemic lockdown, the 39-year-old created socially distanced street bingo events in Glasgow's Castlemilk. The court heard that SAMH Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) provided him with equipment to run the socially distanced neighbourhood bingo events between January and October 2020.

Massey stated that he posted to Facebook after each event how much money was raised.

However, the Glasgow Sheriff Court was told that SAMH did not receive the cash.

During the pandemic, organised and impromptu games of bingo, be they balcony bingo, street bingo, or car park bingo, kept UK bingo lovers entertained whilst clubs closed. The games also provided a much-needed chance to socialise, albeit from a distance. More often than not, the games of street bingo raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for the NHS and charities up and down the country.

“Nonsense” Story Dismissed

Massey claimed that his aunt took the funds to give to the charity, but he has not heard from her since September 2020.

The telephone number he gave to the police of his aunt “Caroline Weir” did not work, and the fanciful story Massey conducted, described by the prosecutor as “nonsense,” was dismissed by Sheriff Allan McKay. The Sheriff  told Massey: “I don't believe you, and I find you guilty of the charge.”

The sentence was deferred pending background reports until next month.

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