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Court told adviser helped accountant splash stolen cash

Court told adviser helped accountant splash stolen cash

A financial adviser helped an accountant steal £1.3m from the Bermuda government to spend a luxury lifestyle of fast cars and expensive property, a court has heard.

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

His wife Samantha Bevan, 52, along with Leicester-based financial adviser Paul Charity, 52, and Joel Ismail, 42, are also accused of taking part in the fraud.

The group have denied all the charges and are on trial in Cardiff Crown Court.

The court heard Mr Bevan cannot be prosecuted for allegedly taking the money, totalling almost 2.5 million Bermudan dollars, as he is in the UK.

The father-of-two, from Cwmbran, Torfaen, is standing trial accused of transferring £1.3m of the money to UK bank accounts.

This was allegedly used to pay off the £140,000 mortgage on his house, invest in 11 properties and buy two Mercedes-Benz cars.

Mr Bevan claims that £1.8m was legitimately paid to him for his work at the department of the Accountant General of Bermuda.

Tim Evans, prosecuting, said Mr Bevan made 52 payments from the Bermudan government to bank accounts belonging to him and his wife.

The jury heard Mr Bevan did this while implementing a new finance system at the government.

Mr Evans described Mr Bevan as a "gambling addict" with a "fascination with risk and trying to win big".

"The prosecution case against Mr Bevan is that he was dishonestly involved in these fraudulent transactions of almost BD$2.5m of money belonging to the Bermudan people," Mr Evans said.

"It had been covered up by a man who claims to be an expert in the (new) system. He left (Bermuda) before he got rumbled.

"Bermuda can’t prosecute because he is in the UK. The prosecution are not prosecuting him for things on Bermudan soil."

Mr Bevan and his wife moved to Bermuda after he secured a three-year post in 2011.

His £80,000 per year role included overseeing the implementation of a new finance system, the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne System.

During his employment, he complained about his pay and asked for a raise as a "smokescreen" for the money he was receiving, Mr Evans said.

Mr Bevan resigned in February 2013 – a year before the end of his contract – and the family returned to the UK following his final day of work in May that year.

In September that year, Mr Bevan’s former colleagues noticed irregularities with cheques that appeared to have been cancelled on the new system.

These cheques – totalling BD$2,452,135.42 – had actually been paid into Mr Bevan’s bank account or the bank account of his wife, the court heard.

Between May 2011 and May 2013, there were 49 payments to Mr Bevan’s personal account while three were paid into his wife’s account.

Mr Evans said £1.3m of this was transferred “pretty quickly” to the UK while the remainder was spent in Bermuda.