A man who headed a Blackpool law firm has been jailed for six years for stealing £223,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
David Barrowclough, 48, made up archeological digs which then applied to the fund for grant aid.
But the excavation sites listed by Cambridge don Barrowclough, never existed.
Barrowclough, now of Broad Street, Ely, was jailed for six years and Huntington Crown Court heard how he had spent the money on property, Premium Bonds and a new Alfa Romeo car.
The academic was charged with nine counts of fraud and one count of obtaining property by deception.
He denied all charges but was found guilty of all but one.
It’s understood the fraud came to light when museum staff were delivered a letter to Barrowclough confirming a grant for £18,500 – but they were unaware of the project it was designated for and called in police.
Barrowclough has paid back more than £70,000 to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which said it will pursue the rest of the fraudulently-obtained cash.
The court heard that Barrowclough had become a don at Wolfson College, Cambridge, but never told the college about a previous conviction for theft.
He completed a PHD at Wolfson after he failed to reveal that when he had a law firm on Adelaide Street, Blackpool he stole money from its client account and legal aid account.
As a result he was struck off the solicitors’ role and served four years’ jail.