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Financial adviser found not guilty of money laundering

Financial adviser found not guilty of money laundering

A financial adviser has cleared of helping to launder thousands of pounds stolen from Bermuda government.

Jeffrey Bevan, 50, from Cwmbran, admitted transferring nearly BMD$2.5m (£1.79m) from his employer into his own bank accounts and spending it on gambling, Mercedes vehicles and properties.

His friend Joel Ismail and financial adviser Paul Charity denied laundering the money with him by buying properties in Swansea.

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They were found not guilty by a jury of six men and six women of converting criminal property following a week-long trial at Cardiff Crown Court.

The court heard Bevan started working as payments manager in the accountant general’s department for the Bermuda Government in January 2011.

Timothy Evans, prosecuting, said he was in that role for about two years and was a “trusted” member of staff.

Bevan’s employers questioned some “odd transactions” shortly before he left and found 52 payments had been made into his personal bank account, amounting to almost BMD$2.5m (£1.79m).

The court heard he transferred £1.3m – which he accepts was criminal property – into his bank account in the UK.

Prosecutors said Bevan “gambled away” some of the cash, spent more than £30,000 on Mercedes vehicles and used £140,000 to pay off the mortgage on his family home.

He spent about £700,000 on cars, houses and flats, including properties in Newport, Glasgow and Nottingham.

His co-accused Mr Ismail and Mr Charity denied acting jointly with Bevan to convert criminal property by buying properties on Villiers Street, Windmill Terrace and Skinner Street in Swansea.

Mr Ismail, 42, of Hall Farm Crescent, Leicester, also denied acting with Bevan to purchase Cork House in Swansea in cash in June 2012.

The jury found Mr Ismail not guilty of four counts of converting criminal property and found Mr Charity not guilty of three counts of the same offence.

Mr Charity was convicted of one count of perverting the course of justice, which related to deleting emails.

In a police interview, Mr Charity accepted deleting messages he thought sounded “incriminating”, such as one that contained the phrase: “No more money laundering department”.

Prosecutors said he handed a disc of emails to the police but it was “neither complete nor honest”.