Former highways council worker jailed for £1m fraud

Peninsula Blog

January 18 2023

A former highways worker has been jailed for stealing almost £1m from Birmingham City Council, before fleeing to the US

Tyler Evans, from Birmingham, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by abuse of position and another of money laundering at Birmingham Crown Court on 15 December 2022. He was sentenced to four years and eight months imprisonment.

Evans worked for the highways permit team at Birmingham City Council from 2010 until 2014. His role was to control the refund of payment bonds to contractors who carried out work on the city’s highways.

The payment of bonds is a requirement for any business carrying out work on the highways as a security deposit for any damage they might cause during the works.

Following an investigation, police uncovered that Evans had been transferring the refunds of these road bond deposits to his own bank accounts, which were controlled by his associates.

In total, Evans had submitted 35 false forms to his managers, resulting in 35 payments being authorised and paid into 10 separate bank accounts. Taking place between 2010 and 2013, he stole £906,084.

Before the fraud was detected, Evans moved to the US. When the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) authorised charges against him, an extradition application was lodged with the US.

CPS lawyers worked with their US counterparts to get the extradition granted and he was transferred back to the UK.

Andrew Cant, solicitor at the CPS said: ‘Evans fraudulently diverted money, which should have been spent on vital public services such as education, health and social care or the upkeep of the city’s roads, for his own personal financial gain.

‘The CPS secured Evans’ extradition from the United States of America so that he can face justice for his dishonest actions. Our network of international prosecutors helps improve our ability to successfully bring people back to our courts.

‘We will now pursue confiscation proceedings against him, aiming to recover the criminal property from which he benefitted.’

Evans had sent the money to accounts under his own name, which included his business account, Paranormal Activities, according to prosecutor, Raj Punia.

The council’s insurers have since covered the financial losses apart from an excess of £100,000.

Kevin Hicks, assistant director, highways and infrastructure at Birmingham City Council, said: ‘We would like to thank all those involved in working so hard to bring this case to court.

‘When concerns were brought to the council’s attention in 2014 an audit investigation was instigated and subsequently, the matter was referred to West Midlands Police. Prior to the completion of the audit investigation, Mr Evans had been dismissed for other reasons.

‘Once the fraud was uncovered steps were immediately taken to change the council’s internal payment process to strengthen controls and mitigate the risk of this happening again.

‘It is appalling that someone could steal money that should have been spent on public services, and we understand that confiscation proceedings will be pursued.’

To find out more about dealing with employee misconduct, visit BrAInbox today where you can find answers to questions like Do I have to hold a disciplinary hearing to give someone a warning?

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