Former managing director of vendor PC Science, Charles Forsyth, has deserted his £490,000 home near Oulston, North Yorkshire, shortly after a swoop by the fraud squad.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) admitted it was investigating PC Science a month ago. But sources revealed exclusively to PC Dealer that the investigation had narrowed and former employees of the vendor are being sought to provide information specifically on Forsyth.
A former PC Science employee told PC Dealer: "It would appear that the Forsyth family has left its home and run off to Scotland after the fraud squad began its inquiry. It is interested in speaking to anyone who can shed any light on Forsyth's activities."
Another ex-employee said: "The SFO will be interviewing all ex-PC Science employees as soon as they can. I am going to be interviewed within the next two weeks. They are gathering information regarding Forsyth."
Detective Constable Steve McGrail, leader of the fraud inquiry, told PC Dealer: "This investigation is very thorough and we will not comment on details. It is picking up now, but we have no idea when it will be complete."
Len Swift, investigating officer at the Trading Standards Office, who led an inquiry into PC Science, said: "We are making our findings available to the police. It makes sense to have one investigation led by the SFO."
The circumstances surrounding PC Science's collapse into administration are still unclear. Before the banks called in KPMG as administrators and the subsequent 150 redundancies from the 180-strong workforce, the firm had scored a lucrative contract with supermarket giant Asda.
PC Science was then reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority and dumped by Argos, and came under investigation by both the Trading Standards and Office of Fair Trading.
A spokeswoman for KPMG said it was still trying to sell the company as a going concern: "Negotiations are continuing with a couple of interested parties but there has been no progress yet."
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