A petition has been launched calling for a man who founded a veterans’ charity — only to scam tens of thousands of pounds from it — to have his assets seized.
James Reilly was jailed in July after pleading guilty to taking £60,000 from Tayforth Veterans Project in Dundee — which he had launched in 2011 — over a 20-month period in 2012 and 2013.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard at the time how Reilly, 67, of Balmullo in Fife, had received more than £120,000 in donations from the charity, which was designed to support veterans in the area, before transferring about half of that to his own account.
The court was told how he blamed the state of the accounts on former trustees and said they should’ve taken responsibility.
Reilly was jailed for 13 months, but claims emerged last week that he was out of prison and driving a BMW with a private number plate to and from an expensive home.
He was reportedly snapped driving the flashy motor around Cupar.
Now, angry locals have started a campaign to have any assets Reilly owns taken off him to pay back the cash he took from the project.
The petition, started by Jake Reid, calls for the “veterans fraudster’s assets to be taken in recompense to charities”, citing Reilly’s case.
It’s addressed to the Serious Organised Crime Agency — but in Scotland, bids to seize assets from a criminal would normally be lodged by the procurator fiscal through the courts.
The online petition, started through the change.org website, has already attracted more than 1,300 backers.
Signing the petition, Glenn Manning wrote: “This fraudster’s assets need to be seized and sold to benefit the veterans he has stolen from.”
June Black wrote: “This man conned our veterans, families and friends out of money to line his own pockets, total disgrace.”
Others claimed Reilly had profited from his crime and been left better off as a result.
Allan Hendry added: “Greedy people should not profit from fraud.
“Take all assets and use them to help veterans.”
When the petition was brought to the attention of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, a spokesman said: “There are no proceedings ongoing at this time.”