To recover your money you would have to sue him, get a court decree and if he has any assets try to enforce the decree by taking his assets or applying for his bankruptcy. Note that from your description of him he may be the type that has nothing in the way of free assets. If that is the case it is the unfortunate fact of life that you can't get blood out of a stone and there may be no results on of the financial side of this for you. He has clearly been dishonest by taking your money and instructing his subcontractors to do the work, not paying them and telling them that you haven't paid them. The police are right. This is a civil matter. However, if the police had any imagination they would also realise that a civil matter can also be a criminal matter. In this case theft and fraud, in that he took your money with no intention of using it to pay for the contractors subbed to do the work. It's a matter for the procurator fiscal, to whom the police report, but I would have thought that the police should at least investigate the available evidence. That won't of course get you your money back. You have to engage a good civil court solicitor to try to do that for you. I hope that helps. Please leave a positive rating so that I am credited for my time.
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