Thursday August 22,2013 : I.T. MANAGER BLEW MILLIONS ON INTERNET SPORTS BETTING
Defrauded employer to the tune of almost GBP 19 million – gets 7 years in prison
Jonathan Revill (38), an IT manager for a large energy company in Leeds, UK went to prison for seven years this week following a massive fraud case in which he used most of his ill-gotten gains to gamble over the internet, reports the Yorkshire Post.
Revill was accused of defrauding his employer out of GBP 18.9 million, gambling as much as GBP 300,000 in a single session of online sports betting.
His extravagant behaviour was far beyond the capabilities of his annual salary of GBP 55,000 plus bonuses and a GBP 400-a-month car allowance, the court was told.
The IT specialist stole the money from GDF Suez, one of the world’s largest companies, while he worked as a service delivery systems manager at its subsidiary business, GDF Suez Energy, based in Leeds, where annual turnover exceeds a billion sterling.
Mehran Nassiri, prosecuting, told the court Revill faked signatures to order more than GBP 18,9 million worth of computer equipment from a supplier over a three-year period, which he arranged to be delivered to his GBP 500,000 home in Huddersfield or to a storage unit.
He then sold it on to other companies or through eBay, with the cash made then paid into his own bank account.
The Leeds Crown Court heard that Revill had submitted 104 invoices for equipment before auditors uncovered the fraud in May 2013.
The prosecutor said that investigations indicated that Revill had made a profit of GBP 5.6 million from his illegal sales of company equipment, most of which he spent on internet sports betting, wagering on tennis, football and baseball at websites like bet365.com.
He was arrested and granted bail on condition he sought assistance and stopped gambling, but days later was back online, losing GBP 20,000 in an evening from an account he held on the Isle of Man.
Appearing in court this week, Revill pleaded guilty to four offences of fraud and one of transferring criminal property.
His lawyer, Benjamin Hargreaves said that Revill was a compulsive gambler whose gambling problem has increasingly grown and gone out of control in the last 10 years. He revealed that at one point his client had as much as GBP 3 million in his account.
Investigating officer Det Chief Insp Mark Griffin of West Yorkshire Police, said Revill had abused his position to defraud his employer on a “massive scale” adding:
“His actions have destroyed his life and affected a number of businesses. This case clearly highlights the very serious consequences of gambling addiction.”
Imposing a seven year jail sentence, Judge Geoffrey Marson, QC, said: “This was a vast amount of money.”