Police have been told to carry out enquiries with a view to bringing criminal charges against former Cupar antiques dealer Kenneth Robb.
The move follows an apology given by prosecutors to a customer who successfully sued Mr Robb after items he gave him to sell went missing.
Bus driver Bill Jones, of Buckhaven, was forced to take out a civil action against Mr Robb, who traded as Kingdom Antiques, after the Crown Office decided there wasn’t enough evidence to bring criminal charges.
Mr Jones had given him items worth around £1700 to sell back in 2007, but hasn’t seen them since.
He won his case and in his findings Sheriff Alastair Brown branded Mr Robb ‘a thief’ .
Mr Jones had incurred considerable personal expense in suing Mr Robb, and complained to the Crown Office about the way the case had been handled.
And in a highly unusual move, the Crown Office has now told Mr Jones that its decision not to pursue criminal proceedings was ‘wrong’ and has written to him to apologise.
Said a spokesman: “We have instructed police to carry out further enquiries to allow us to confirm whether there is sufficient evidence for a prosecution to be raised.
“I appreciate that the original decision not to prosecute Mr Robb will be disappointing for you and I apologise for the error.
“A senior manager will raise this with a member of the legal staff who made the initial decision to ensure this does not happen in the future.”
At the civil hearing in Dundee last August, Mr Robb told the court that he could not return the items because he no longer had thgem.
He said he’d transferred hs business and the whole stock to a limited company but was no longer involved with them so no longer had access to any of the items he’d been given to sell.
He also told the court that many items - including a quantity of Russian art - had been seized by Trading Standards officers in 2013.