Ex-British Bus chief jailed for corruption

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Dawson Williams, former chairman and large shareholder of British Bus, and his former bank manager, Ian Harvey, were sentenced to two years in jail yesterday for corruption, writes John Willcock.

Her Honour Judge Ann Goddard QC also ordered Mr Williams to pay pounds 86,000 towards the prosecution's costs and disqualified him from being a company director for four years. A further confiscation hearing has been adjourned.

Dawson and Harvey were convicted on 16 July of conspiracy to corrupt between 1 January 1992 and 4 August 1994, in a case brought by the Serious Fraud Office and the City of London police.

Ian Harvey, 40, was in day-to-day control of British Bus's account at the London branch of the First National Bank of Boston. In the early 1990s British Bus ran into difficulties. Its auditors Robson Rhodes needed proof it could meets its debts before they would sign off the 1993 accounts. Harvey wrote letters offering "open-ended support" on bank notepaper, without telling head office. Williams, 59, paid pounds 1m to Harvey.