SCOTLAND’S richest criminals have failed to pay more than £6.5 million seized from them under “dirty money” laws.

Prosecutors have boasted that they are taking millions every year under the Proceeds of Crime Act and diverting the money into community projects.

However, many of the crooks, including fraudsters, drug dealers and money launderers, still owe cash years after confiscation orders were imposed on them.

Official figures show £6,578,568 of confiscation orders is outstanding compared with £5,943,839 last year. Almost £4 million is owed by just 10 people.

As of last month, benefits fraudster Anthony Kearney, of Glasgow, had the largest amount outstanding at £898,441.

Second is Edinburgh brothel boss Margaret Paterson, 64, who was dubbed Madam Moneybags She still owes £780,440 of a £1 million confiscation order imposed in May 2015.

A spokesman for the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service said: “By its nature a confiscation order is a financial penalty which may take some time to recover in full. If an offender defaults in the payment of a confiscation order he or she will be called back before the court for further consideration of the payment terms.