Newspapers in Scotland are reporting that a telecom company worker has been accused blowing £1million of his company's cash playing Internet poker – allegedly at William Hill.

Chris Proudfoot (25) has apparently fled his parents' home and is in hiding, but a friend disclosed to reporters that it was rumoured Proudfoot was playing high stakes poker and ended up in financial difficulties.

"The word is that he was playing high-stakes poker online and got himself in too deep," the friend said. "It's a shock Bodoglife.netto think that Chris has been gambling away his employers' money. We never had him down as a gambling addict. He doesn't go to the bookies in town and we've never known him to bet on anything."

Proudfoot worked for several years as a finance and credit controller for Inverness telecom firm HIGHnet.

HIGHnet bosses asked Proudfoot to clear his desk five weeks ago and called in the fraud squad.

Detectives are expected to spend months poring over the company's books and following the alleged trail of bets. It's understood more than £1million could be missing but the exact figure won't be known until the police have finished their investigation.

Proudfoot lived with his parents in Scorguie, Inverness. But he left home a couple of weeks ago and is lying low. His mother denied that her son had "done a runner" and said he was available if police wanted to speak to him.

A spokeswoman for HIGHnet confirmed: "We made a complaint to the police against Mr Proudfoot. We are co-operating with the police and Mr Proudfoot no longer works for the company. We cannot comment further as this is an ongoing investigation. There isn't a final figure."

A Northern Constabulary spokesman said: "Investigations are at an early stage."