Tree surgeon’s ‘scammed’ claims cut down by DTC

HMRC

An Irvine operator has had its licence revoked and the director disqualified after he submitted a forged certificate of professional competence to the traffic commissioner’s office.

Deputy TC Hugh Olson described director David Edward McGregor’s evidence as “incredible, in the sense of not capable of being believed,” when the operator appeared before him at an Edinburgh public inquiry.

McGregor, who operated as a tree surgeon out of two bases in Irvine and East Kilbride, applied to have himself added as transport manager to his licence.

However, suspicions were aroused by the document he provided the TC’s office as part of the application process.

At a subsequent hearing, McGregor told Olson that when his existing transport manager resigned from the firm, he decided to take the transport manager qualification and himself.

At the time, he was working on a job with someone called Robert who told him he could arrange for McGregor to do the qualification in a much shorter time than the standard five-day course.

Robert acted as a middleman for another man called John Malcolm who provided McGregor with a morning’s training via a video call for £1,200 in cash.

He was then sent two CPC certificates in the post.

McGregor told the deputy TC that he now accepted that he had been scammed; Malcolm was not qualified to offer transport manager training and the certificates he provided the OTC as part of his application were fakes.

DTC Olson then adjourned the PI and in his written decision he explained that it had occurred to him that the director could have deliberately entered into an arrangement to obtain a forged transport manager CPC.

At a reconvened PI, McGregor denied this and said it had only occurred to him that they were fakes when he had a conversation with the OTC caseworker.

But the DTC disagreed: “The impression that I formed from Mr McGregor’s evidence was that he was not telling me the truth,” he said.

“It seems to me highly improbable that Mr McGregor, an experienced businessman, would pay £1,200 in cash to someone who he had only met a few times and who he only knew by his first name, to obtain a TM CPC from someone that he had never met and knew nothing about other than his phone number.”

The DTC also disqualified McGregor indefinitely.