Ex-computer chief faces prison

A former company boss is facing prison today for a fraudulent bid to fatten up his ailing computer firm for flotation before sending it into receivership with debts of more than £4m.

A former company boss is facing prison today for a fraudulent bid to fatten up his ailing computer firm for flotation before sending it into receivership with debts of more than £4m.

Charles Forsyth sold sub-standard computers as new from his North Yorkshire company, which had a factory in Eaglescliffe.

He then secured more than £1.5m in overdraft and credit letter facilities by telling The Yorkshire Bank he once ran the sales department of Viglen Computers, previously owned by Alan Sugar, and built it up to a £25m-a-year turnover.

Forsyth has admitted a string of fraud and copyright offences relating to his firm, Personal Computer Science Ltd, which went into receivership in 1999 with the loss of 150 jobs.

Newcastle Crown Court heard yesterday Forsyth, 45, of Littleworth Wheatley in Oxford, never profited from the fraud and was trying to trade his way out of trouble by ploughing the money into the stricken company.

John Jones QC, defending, said Forsyth had run PCS profitably for more than three years before financial problems started.

It was then he secured overdraft facilities, letters of credit and a £250,000 grant from the DTI to build a factory in Eaglescliffe.

Mr Jones said Forsyth intended to start manufacturing computers rather than just supplying them and that the grant was spent correctly.

Judge Guy Whitburn QC has warned Forsyth to expect a custodial term when he is sentenced today.

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