Scottish Enterprise paid for expensive consultants to help Edinburgh-based Bedlam Paintball grow its business. This is despite the company’s owner, Roman Rock, having previously been jailed for a massive credit card scam.

The jobs creation agency was set up to target support at businesses with growth potential. Part of the strategy involves Scottish Enterprise taking 2000 firms under its wing as “account managed businesses” and offering them taxpayer-funded help.

One of the firms receiving support is Bedlam, whose holding company is It’s Corporate Entertainment Ltd.

Bedlam organises team games at locations across Scotland, where participants dress in pseudo-military gear and pay to shoot paintballs at each other.

Since 2007, Scottish Enterprise has helped Bedlam develop its “brand startegy”, supported staff training and mentoring, and paid for two external consultants to help the firm expand.

A Scottish Enterprise spokesman said the advisers had cost the taxpayer around £15,000, part of a £30,000 investment in the company.

However, the public body has been asked to review the background checks it makes on companies after details emerged of the sole director behind Bedlam’s holding company.

Jan Roman Rock, 49, was jailed for three years in 1997 for his part in a £100,000 fraud. Rock and a co-accused made false transactions with a stolen credit card, which they used to put £53,295 into a company account they controlled.

Rock was also found guilty of further frauds totalling £49,835, while he was also found to have tried to obtain another £11,637 by fraudulent means.

Rock was a director of Bedlam War Games before the court case. After his release, he resumed his interest in business by offering adventure days out for clients.

He was recently hailed by the taxpayer-funded Business Gateway as an example of someone who had benefited from government support.

Central Scotland MSP John Wilson, who has previously been critical of Scottish Enterprise, said the agency “should not only be scrutinising the companies that receive taxpayer-funded help, but also the history of the directors”. He added: “This further highlights the quango’s failure to learn lessons from previous cases where it has given support to companies run by people with dubious backgrounds.”

Rock said: “This conviction is historical, was personal, and as such has no relevance to the Bedlam Group. It has only been through the support it has received from Scottish Enterprise that Bedlam has been able to grow its turnover from £500,000 several years ago to £1million today, creating jobs in the process.”

A Scottish Enterprise spokesman said: “The support provided to Bedlam Paintball over the past two years has been directly related to improving the company’s performance and helping to develop its business. There are strong systems in place for checking SE funds are spent only on the specific project activity we agree to support.”