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Accountant jailed after stealing £1.8m from Bermudan government

Cardiff Crown Court heard the money was spent on properties, cars, holidays and gambling.

An accountant who stole £1.8 million from the Bermudan government and invested it in properties and cars in the UK has been jailed for seven years.

Jeffrey Bevan, 50, siphoned off the money while working as a payment manager in the British overseas territory between 2011 and 2013.

Cardiff Crown Court previously heard that Bevan could not be prosecuted for taking the money, totalling almost 2.5 million Bermudan dollars (BMD), as he is in the UK.

The father-of-two, from Cwmbran, South Wales, admitted transferring £1.3 million of the money to UK bank accounts.

He was jailed for seven years and four months, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and South Wales Police said.

Speaking after Bevan was sentenced, Detective Superintendent Huw Davies of South Wales Police said: “This investigation is a clear example of criminality having no geographical boundaries.

“However, it also demonstrates that law enforcement also has no boundaries in pursuing criminality.

“The excellent co-operation between British and Bermudian law enforcement was crucial in obtaining this conviction.

“We are now committed to recovering significant assets for the people of Bermuda.”

Bevan pleaded guilty to three counts of transferring criminal property and 10 counts of converting criminal property during his trial at Cardiff Crown Court.

Jurors heard the money he stole was used to pay off the £140,000 mortgage on his house, invest in 11 properties and buy two Mercedes Benz cars.

Bevan had claimed the £1.8 million was legitimately paid to him for his work at the department of the Accountant General of Bermuda.

He was paid an £80,000 annual salary to implement a new finance system at the government, which he was an expert in.

Bevan used his knowledge of the system to steal £1.8 million in 52 separate thefts over two years.

During this time, his purchases included a penthouse apartment in Swansea Marina, buy-to-let properties and shares in racehorses.

He enjoyed a lavish lifestyle with family holidays to the Caribbean, United States and Europe, and attended the races at Royal Ascot as a VIP.

Cardiff Crown Court heard Bevan resigned from his post in February 2013 – a year before the end of his contract – and his family returned to the UK in May.

Months later, his colleagues noticed irregularities with cheques that appeared to have been cancelled on the new system but had in fact been paid into his bank accounts.

Prosecutor Tim Evans told Bevan’s trial that he was a “gambling addict”, with Paddy Power revealing that he had made 18,853 bets online between 2008 and 2014.

Juliette Simms, of the CPS, said: “He spent the money on houses in Wales, Scotland and Nottingham, new cars, gambling and a lavish lifestyle for himself and his family.”

South Wales Police said proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act have started in order to recover the funds stolen from the Bermuda government.

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