We are approaching the anniversary of life changing events that took place in 1978.
I had established an Electronic Component Distributor in 1973 and had rapidly grown and had franchises with major manufacturers such as Sprague, Thompson, Augat and Alco.
Out of the blue, Mr Albert Winter from the Company's accountants McIntyre Hudson in Bedford introduced "John Cuss" to the company as a man of substance and good standing and one that could be thoroughly recommended and suggested that he should become involved with the company.
After several meetings, Mr Cuss was brought into the company.
The company went from strength to strength and after a few months Mr Vaughan & his wife went on holiday to Spain.
Mr Cuss immediately swung his well rehearsed plan into action....
Most of the staff were dismissed, the locks on the warehouse were changed, the company vehicles were taken as was the companies twin engined Piper Seneca aircraft
The Barclays bank account mandate was forged and the account run up to the overdraft limit and cleaned out.
It transpired that "Mr Cuss" was a professional con-man with a string of previous convictions who spent many years in prison and indeed John Cuss was not even his real name.
The company was dissolved owing thousands of pounds to creditors and Mr Cuss went to prison again for six years (which included time for other offences) leaving a string of wrecked companies and at least one company owner who committed suicide.
Mr Albert Winter left McIntyre Hudson's who never even had the balls to put their hands up to their negligence. Eventually they made a derisory payment whilst still trying to squirm their way out of any liability.
As one of the lads from the Fraud Squad at Scotland Yard remarked - give me an honest burglar any day - the REAL crooks are accountants & solicitors as they know how to get away with it!
The story frequently made front page news in local newspaper "Bedfordshire on Sunday"
Heide and I were left with two young children - no money - a mortgage and school fees to pay - but that's another story.......