POLICE Scotland which is facing a £41.6m overspend have warned of a threat over legal costs and compensation payouts after up to £40m of claims associated with the failed Rangers fraud investigation emerged.

Police Scotland are facing damages claims of nearly £40m over allegations of wrongful detention in connection with their investigation into Craig Whyte's purchase of Rangers in 2011 and the Charles Green-fronted assets purchase the following year.

The force is also facing a possible legal claim over the bugled 101 car scandal which led to the death of M9 crash victim Lamara Bell, 25, and her partner John Yuill, 28, four years ago.

HeraldScotland:

John Yuill and Lamara Bell died after an accident involving their Renault Clio, but it took days for police to find them in the wreckage after a missed call.

The father of Mr Yuill, Gordon said last year he wanted accountability over their failure to respond to a message reporting John and partner Lamara Bell’s wrecked vehicle.

READ MORE: Scotland's chief law officer admits "wrongful" restraint order over former Rangers administrator

A chart drawn up for a report by Police Scotland chief financial officer James Gray showed “legal costs and liability claims” were the biggest risk to its overstretched budget.

The report talks of "material threats include unbudgeted legal costs yet to be quantified".

It explains that while it was assumed that an additional 400 officers required for Brexit-related operations would not be the subject of additional funding, this resulted in a "potential deficit of up to £41.6m."

READ MORE: Rangers case: Police 'manipulated legal system'

But the report indicates that the "unbudgeted legal costs yet to be quantified" could take the any overspend higher.

The legal costs and liability claims were judged to have the biggest impact on their financial forecasting.

Other issues highlighted included staff pay awards and Brexit funding.

READ MORE: Ex Rangers administrator launches legal bid for criminal prosecutions over failed fraud arrests

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police Scotland works to identify and anticipate costs that could impact on our financial out-turn so that these can be managed during the year.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson added: “Annual funding for Police Scotland is now more than £1.2billion and officer numbers in Scotland remain significantly above 2007 levels.”

HeraldScotland:

The Crown Office has already paid compensation estimated at £80,000 to former Rangers administrator David Whitehouse over the granting of a restraint order over his assets which Scotland 's chief legal officer admitted was "wrongful".

Mr Whitehouse and Paul Clark (above), the former Rangers administrators from Duff and Phelps were among those facing criminal proceedings in the wake of the Rangers buyouts before a judge dismissed the charges.

READ MORE: Crown pays over £80k to ex-Rangers administrator David Whitehouse over "wrongful" restraint order

Mr Whitehouse is seeking £9 million damages and in excess of £5 million.

David Grier, a Duff and Phelps managing director who was involved in the Craig Whyte takeover is making a £2 million claim claiming police acted unlawfully when he was arrested in 2014.

HeraldScotland:

Charles Green, former Rangers chief executive,  is suing police and prosecutors for £20 million for 'wrongful arrest' also claiming the actions were unlawful and ruined his life.

And former Rangers commercial director Imran Ahmad is understood to be suing the chief constable of Police Scotland and the Lord Advocate for £2m over wrongful prosecution.

Craig Whyte, who was the last man standing in the fraud conspiracy case, was acquitted of taking over the club by fraud at the end of a seven-week trial in June, 2017.

READ MORE: Call for government review after judges say prosecutors "abused state power" over Rangers fraud case raid

Fraud charges were previously dropped against Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark, Mr Green, solicitor Gary Withey, Mr Grier, as well as ex-Rangers director Imran Ahmad.

Duff and Phelps legal representatives Holman Fenwick Willan were awarded £500,000 costs in 2016 after police and prosecutors were found by the High Court in London to have "abused state powers" by carrying out an illegal raid and seizing privileged documents in connection with the failed Rangers fraud case.