IT is a story of Hollywood actors, desperate bureaucrats, crazy money-making schemes...and an old king’s favourite sausages, reports MIKE DELANEY.
And now the son of the key figure in the scandal that catapulted the then young town of Glenrothes to international notoriety has made his bid to set the record straight on the Cadco affair.
Clive Kristen describes his book on Dennis Loraine as “my own voyage of discovery into the history of a father who left home when I was still an infant.”
But the author also says it is a detective story which led to ‘A History of Britain’s Most Notorious Casanova Conman’, a title that is a more than accurate description of its subject.
Clive has no hesitation in claiming that his father masterminded what was “the greatest financial scandal of the 1960s” and one in which the town was key.
“The fulcrum of the whole thing is what happened in Glenrothes,” he added.
In 1963, Cadco announced, with a fanfare of publicity, that it was going to open a huge meat processing plant on Queensway Industrial Estate, creating hundreds of jobs, something which was sweet music to the ear of Glenrothes Development Corporation which was desperate to attract new industry in the wake of the collapse of the Rothes Colliery ‘superpit’ project.
The company took its name from the autobiography of Hollywood film star George Sanders, ‘Memoirs Of A Professional Cad’, a reference to the type of role for which the actor – who was duped into providing funding for the scheme - was famous, but it proved particularly apt for others who were involved, none more so than Loraine.
He was brought up in a Bristol orphanage and later worked as a cabin boy, factory cleaner and occasional actor, but as Clive said: “He was soon to build a lavish lifestyle by preying on older (and wealthy) women.
“He became a trusted friend of the rich and famous and used them to further his criminal career.”
In contacts with the GDC, Loraine passed himself off as a Royal Air Force veteran and held out the promise of everything from a film studio to an ice cream factory following the sausage plant.
In reality, Cadco did not have the money to back up its plans and the banks and small companies who had respectively paid for and done the advance work found themselves out of pocket and the ordinary folk who worked for the firm out of jobs.
Money they had been given up front was actually used to prop-up Loraine’s Brighton-based Royal Victoria Sausages company, which he had founded after buying a Brighton butchers’ business which claimed to possess the recipe for Edward VII’s favourite ‘bangers’.
When the scam was exposed, then town MP Willie Hamilton posed questions in the House of Commons and a Board of Trade inquiry was set-up, but no one was ever prosecuted for their part in the affair in the United Kingdom.
Clive believes this was because of the involvement, direct and indirect of people in high places, particularly future Prime Minister, Edward Heath, and Hollywood actress Jayne Mansfield, who died last year.
Investors who he alleges were compromised by the scandal, ranging from novelist Graham Greene to Charlie Chaplin.
After the scandal broke, Loraine fled to the United States. “He only avoided a long prison sentence by working undercover to help bring to justice those behind the biggest counterfeiting operation in US history,” said Clive.
“His deep cover even required a mock trial in Los Angeles.”
Loraine was married five times and fathered at least 15 children.
Clive said: “But despite amassing several fortunes, he died in obscurity in South London.
“During the last three decades of his life, he slept with a revolver under his pillow...”
*The book is currently only available in electronic format. For further details, e-mail: